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Governance and citizenship

European integration - 25.04.2007

Future of Europe: local and regional government thank Chancellor Angela Merkel
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the signature of the Treaties of Rome and under the German Presidency, Member States signed a Declaration which includes the following references to regional and local authorities: We preserve in the European Union the identities and diverse traditions of its Member States. We are eronriched by open borders and a lively variety of languages, cultures and regions. There are many goals which we cannot achieve on our own, but only in concert. Tasks are shared between the European Union, the Member States and their regions and local authorities.
Therefore, the Presidents of the Regional and local associations decided to address a letter to the German Chancellor to express their satisfaction that in such a historic Declaration, Governments Member States decided to include a paragraph which promotes regional and local values.
European integration will falter unless citizens are given a stronger role, and regions and local authorities are their closest tiers of government The letter signed by the associations, said. Whilst regions and local authorities currently implement a very high proportion of EU laws and policies, we nonetheless still have...only a modest role in EU policy processes, despite the fact that we are linchpins for securing the success of so many EU policies,... and promote European values at the regional and local level.
The current letter follows a request addressed by the same associations to Mrs. Merkel, before the start of the German Presidency. In December last year the associations asked for the German Presidency to strengthen the role of local and regional governments in Europe. The German Presidency's answer welcomed this demand with a very positive letter, but the insertion of regional and local values in the Declaration signed in Berlin in March goes much further. Indeed, the principle of subsidiarity is already established in the European Union legislation, but the references mentioned in the Berlin Declaration have great importance in the context of the future of the European constitutional or institutional Treaty.
The letter sent to Angela Merkel was signed, by the Presidents of the following associations:
  • Assembly of European Regions (AER), Riccardo Illy, President of Friuli Venezia Giulia, (IT)
  • Association of European Border Regions (AEBR), Mr Lambert van Nistelrooij, Member of European Parliament, (N)
  • Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), Mr Michael Häupl, Mayor and Govenor of Vienna, (A)
  • Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR), Mr Claudio Martini, President of Tuscany (IT)
  • EUROCITIES, Mr Gérard Collomb, Mayor of Lyon, (FR)
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