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EU Treaty - 15.06.2007
Nicolas Sarkozy wants stronger role for local and regional government in Europe
The French President Nicolas Sarkozy is in favour of a future EU treaty that strengthens the role of local and regional authorities in Europe.
In a letter to the French association of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions,.Nicolas Sarkozy calls for a simplified treaty that would include the gains for local and regional governments achieved in the constitutional treaty: territorial cohesion as an objective of the EU, the recognition of local and regional self-government, the extension of the principle of subsidiarity to include local and regional governments...
I have put forward a simplified text to our partners, limited to institutional issues, he wrote. This simplified treaty would include all the measures that everybody, including those who voted 'no", acknowledges would help Europe work better... Furthermore, I have committed myself to ask for the recognition of the economic and social role of public services for the Member States that wish it.
The French Head of State was replying to a call launched by the French association of CEMR (AFCCRE), chaired by Louis Le Pensec, to all the candidates to the French presidential election. In it, AFCCRE asked them to express their views on the retention of the gains for local and regional governments in the constitutional treaty.
Suddenly, the perspectives for Europe's local and regional authorities seem brighter, says CEMR president and mayor of Vienna Michael Häupl: Nicolas Sarkozy wrote that letter shortly after the Berlin Declaration, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Rome treaties. The declaration acknowledged the importance of the role of local and regional governments in Europe. These two positive signs did not follow each other by chance: today, European leaders have understood that the future of Europe lies in giving its local and regional governments a bigger role in the decision-making process and the implementation of European legislation.
On 13 June 2007, in view of next week's EU summit, CEMR's policy committee renewed its call to maintain these gains in any future EU treaty. To this end, CEMR secretary general sent a letter to German Chancelor Angela Merkel informing her of Nicolas Sarkozy's position regarding the gains for local and regional government achieved in the constitutional treaty, and expresses its concern that these gains be not lost by default as a consequence of compromises.
Nicolas Sarkozy's letter to AFCCRE (in French)