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

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Governance and citizenship


As the sphere of governance which is the closest to citizens, municipalities and regions are in the best place to tackle the major issues facing European citizens and to ensure peoples’ participation in all levels of democratic life (EU, national, regional and local public life). Since its creation, CEMR has worked to build a Europe based on the principles of democracy, transparency, accountability and local autonomy.

In order to contribute to the development of a local and regional Europe, CEMR supports the implementation of a new model of governance in partnership. This new model means the decision-making process is coordinated between all levels of power – local, regional, national and European – as well as between citizens, businesses and civil society.

Expert Group on Governance, Democracy and Citizenship

Our Expert Group serves as a platform for discussion between CEMR members on a number of topics: territorial and administrative reforms, public and good governance, better regulation, local and regional democracy, citizenship and decentralisation. It also aims to influence European policies by adopting common positions. Finally, the Expert Group promotes full participation of citizens in European integration, especially via town twinning and other citizen-oriented activities.
Our goals:
  • To ensure a “governing in partnership” approach (between local, regional, national and European governments, as well as the private sector and civil society) in the drafting and implementation of European policies;
  • To strengthen active participation of citizens at all levels;
  • To guarantee transparent, efficient and democratic EU governance structures;
  • To ensure the participation of local and regional governments in the design of the future EU institutional architecture;
  • To promote the participation of local and regional governments and CEMR in the design, monitoring and implementation of the Europe for Citizens Programme 2014-2020.

Task Force on Migration and Refugees:  

The Task Force is made up of experts on migration, integration and asylum from CEMR’s member associations.

Its main task consists in following the day-to-day policy activities concerning the refugee crisis from a local and regional perspective. Experts contribute to the design of CEMR’s activities, advocacy and knowledge related initiatives (drafting of position papers, briefings, conferences, reports, etc.), but they do not make political decisions. They report to the Expert Group on Governance, Democracy and Citizenship when it comes to important decisions and guidelines.

Main goals:

•    Influence EU decision-making process concerning the refugee crisis from a local and regional perspective.
•    Develop links with other stakeholders and exchange on best practices to create inclusive towns and cities for refugees in the long-run.

CEMR coordinator: Carlos Mascarell Vilar

CEMR spokesperson for Democracy and Governance
Vice-mayor of the city of Deinze (Belgium), Rutger De Reu

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