Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
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CEMR seminar in Brno - 23.04.2004

Czech Republic : government and municipalities sign agreement at CEMR seminar
The Czech Prime minister Vladimir Spidla, and the Président of the Union of Town and Municipalities of the Czech Republic (SMO), Oldrich Vlasak, signed a cooperation agreement on 22 April 2004.
The agreement was signed in Brno at the occasion of the seminar Impact of accession to the EU on municipalities and towns, co-organised by CEMR and SMO.
It aims at bringing "both levels of administration" closer to each other in order to simplify decision-making processes and make their results more effective.
It will introduce a system of regular consultations between the government of the Czech Republic and the Union of Towns and Municipalities of the Czech Republic. Both parties will meet at least once a year to discuss the legislative work and the non legislative tasks of the government. (full text of the agreement and photos available on this website next week).
The impact of accession on local government
In his opening address, the Mayor of Brno, Petr Duchon, stressed the need for towns and municipalities of future Member States to adapt to EU legislation. "It means, he said, making the best use of the national associations of towns and municipalities, the best use of the Committee of the Regions, and for local authorities to be more active in supranational circles".
The President of the Union of Towns and Municipalities of the Czech Republic, Oldrich Vlasak, called on Czech municipalities to be "active players in the EU, at the earliset stages of EU policy processes". He also called CEMR's LOGON network a useful tool to monitor developments of EU legislation.
CEMR's representative at the seminar, Vice-president of the Dijon Community, Pierre Pribetich, said that "local authorities should contribute to the success of enlargement. After all, some 70% of EU legislation applies to towns and regions, the European Union has a daily impact on our lives, to ignore this would be an unforgivable error".
Three seminars on the local dimension
The first seminar of the conference focused on the impact of EU legislation on towns and municipalities. it was chaired by Andrzej Porawski, Executive Director of the Association of Polish Cities. Delegates based their discussion on a study in 22 Polish municipalities to find out which areas of local administration will be more affected by adhesion to the EU. The study identified these areas as the environment, social affairs, employment, public procurements...
Twinning was the theme of the second seminar. The chair of the seminar, Susan Handley from the UK's Local Government International Bureau, reported that delegates stressed the importance and usefulness of twinning. They cited two twinning agreements (on flood control and on business development) to show what such agreements can provide to their signatories.
The third seminar was on structural and other forms of assistance. It was chaired by member of the City board of Plzen, Petr Osvald.
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