(Source: European Committee of Regions)
16/06/2021 | Future of Europe
18 regionally and locally elected politicians, 9 women and 9 men, will join the inaugural meeting of the plenary of the Conference to strengthen the role of local and regional authorities in the democratic functioning of the EU and mark the territorial dimension of EU policies. The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) delegation to the Conference on the Future of Europe met today to prepare its contribution to the inaugural meeting of the Plenary of the Conference on the Future of Europe to take place on 19 June in Strasbourg. The delegates wish to seize the opportunity presented by the Conference to strengthen the democratic dimension of the European Union and to restore citizens’ trust in the European project. The CoR, as representative EU body of the level of government that is closest to citizens, is committed to bringing to the Conference the voices of local and regional authorities.
President of the European Committee of the Regions Apostolos Tzitzikostas who is leading the CoR delegation said: “The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) is the EU political Assembly representing one million local and elected politicians across Europe. Our priority is to make sure that the voice of our people in regions, cities and villages is heard. We will ensure that the proposals made by citizens during our local dialogues and the political input gathered via our Plenary sessions, via our Members’ actions and via our key events will be taken up in the final report”.
First CoR Vice-President Vasco Alves Cordeiro who is also member of the CoR delegation added: “As local and regional politicians, we accept the challenge to help building a better Europe. Listening to citizens will not be enough. As people are invited to give their say on their future, EU leaders, at all levels, will have to deliver. What we all want from the Conference are concrete changes to bring the EU closer to its people. The CoR will mobilise as many local and regional politicians as possible in order to make the voice of the people of our territories heard within the Conference. And we will make concrete proposals, on the way the Union works and on policies, for a fair Europe”.
Taking part in all formats of the Conference Plenary, the CoR delegation will:
– provide written contributions with support of the High Level Group on European Democracy , an independent advisory body of seven wise men and women chaired by former European Council President Herman van Rompuy whose mission is to support the CoR’s political and institutional role by providing strategic political analysis with focus on local and regional aspects.
– organise dialogues and debates in their constituency and report back about these dialogues.
– build alliances of like-minded delegates in the Conference to jointly promote recommendations that are of relevance to regions, cities and villages across the EU.
– mobilise its networks like the associations of local and regional authorities across the EU, the network of former CoR members and the newly launched network of EU local councillors in order to encourage local and regional politicians to organise citizens’ debates The results of these consultations will be reported at the Conference Plenary.
The CoR will present its final contribution to the Conference at the 9th European Summit of Regions and Cities, to be held during the French Presidency of the Council on March 2022.
List of of CoR delegation in the Conference on the Future of Europe:
– Apostolos Tzitzikostas, President of the European Committee of the Regions (Governor of the Region of Central Macedonia, Greece, President of the Association of Greek Regions)
– Olgierd Geblewicz, President of the EPP Group (President of West Pomerania Region, Poland, President of the Polish Association of Regions)
– Jelena Drenjanin, 1st Vice-President of the EPP Group (Vice-Mayor of Huddinge, Sweden, Chair of the Governance Committee, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Council of Europe)
– Mark Speich, Chair of the Committee of the Regions’ Commission for Citizenship, Governance, Institutional and External Affairs (Secretary of State, North Rhine-Westphalia Region, Germany)
– Isabel Díaz Ayuso, President of Madrid Region, Spain
– Ilse Aigner, President of the Bavarian State Parliament and CoR-delegate on behalf of the Regional Parliaments, Germany
– Vasco Alves Cordeiro, 1st Vice-President of the European Committee of the Regions (Member of the Regional Parliament of Azores, Portugal)
– Yoomi Renström, 1st Vice-President of the PES Group (Member of Ovanåker Municipal Council, Sweden)
– Concepción Andreu Rodríguez, Vice-President of the PES Group (President of the Regional Government of La Rioja, Spain)
– Kata Tüttő, Vice-President of the PES Group (Deputy major of Budapest, Hungary)
– Karl-Heinz Lambertz, Chair of the European Committee of the Regions’ Subsidiarity Steering Group (President of the Parliament of the German-speaking Community, Belgium)
Renew Europe-CoR Group
– Paula Fernández, Minister for Interior, Justice and EU Affairs, Cantabria Region, Spain
– Mirja Vehkapera, Mayor of the city of Oulu, Finland
– François Decoster, President of Renew Europe Group (Mayor of Saint Omer, France)
– Władysław Ortyl, President of the ECR Group (Marshal of the Podkarpackie region, Poland)
– Roberto Ciambetti, President of the Veneto Regional Parliament, Italy
– Kieran McCarthy, President of the EA Group (Member of Cork City Council, Ireland)
The Greens-CoR Group
– Muhterem Aras, President of the State Parliament of Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Selection criteria for 18 members of the CoR delegation to the Conference were the representativeness of political affiliation, the geographical balance, the representativeness of the different levels of sub-national authorities and gender balance.
The Plenary of the Conference on the Future of Europe is composed of 433 members: 108 representatives of the European Parliament, 54 from the Council, 3 from the European Commission, 108 representatives of national parliaments, 80 representatives from European Citizens’ Panels (a third of whom are younger than 25), the President of the European Youth Forum, 27 representatives of National Citizens’ Panels, 18 representatives each for the CoR and the EESC, 8 representatives each for social partners and civil society.