Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments


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Governance and citizenship

Governance - 31.01.2018

CEMR Vice-President to Commissioner Timmermans: ‘Let’s make local government consultations more meaningful’
Frans Timmermans, the European Commission’s second in command, met CEMR Vice-President Oldřich Vlasák on 31 January in Brussels, for the structured dialogue with the representatives of Europe’s local and regional government associations. This was an opportunity to exchange views on the priorities of the Commission for 2018, the “better regulation” initiative and the next “Multiannual Financial Framework” after 2020.
 
Concerning “better regulation”, CEMR and its members are convinced that the European Union can and should do more. Although he welcomed the creation of a taskforce on subsidiarity and proportionality, Oldřich Vlasák stressed that: “it would make sense to have a more meaningful mechanism to consult  local governments, in a similar way to the Social dialogue. Systematic territorial impact assessments on relevant policy and legislative initiatives should be ensured, aiming at identifying the levels of government concerned and lead to the application of the partnership principle and the code of conduct as introduced in the European Structural and Investment Funds.”
 
On the financial framework, Oldřich Vlasák stated: “What is often overlooked is the fact that there are many issues, where sub-national level efforts are essential to achieving overall EU goals. It is therefore important for the future budget to be guided by the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality and tailored to enable easy access by municipalities and regions.
 
The structured dialogue meeting took place ahead of the Committee of the Regions’ plenary session. Just the right time for Mr Vlasák to officially hand CEMR’s new publication, “Europe 2030: local leaders speak out,” to Commissioner Timmermans, the members of the Committee of the Regions and its President, Karl-Heinz Lambertz.
 
This unique piece of work of nearly 400 pages is the result of two years of discussions and debates within CEMR. It is a collection of ideas from more than 100 local and regional leaders, from all over Europe, and a synthesis of our thoughts and analyses. These come at a crucial point in time, as President Juncker and President Macron invite all Europeans to think together about the future of our Union.
 
To read a summary of the contributions, click here.
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