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

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Governance and citizenship

EU affairs - 21.09.2016

A few key dates to write down in your calendar
It’s that time of year again - holidays are over, tans are fading, and it already looks like the first leaves of autumn are about to start falling. Don’t despair! This new season is full of exciting opportunities for towns and regions all over Europe.

The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, recently gave his State Of The European Union address, announcing the path that lies ahead for the EU. As you may know, EU legislation has a strong impact on European towns and regions.

Here are some key dates on the EU’s agenda that will affect our towns and regions – and that CEMR will be focusing on.

Climate, energy and environment

The fight against climate change and its consequences keeps getting more urgent as time goes by. CEMR is well aware of the potential threats linked to the environment and climate change for European towns and regions – that’s why we are focusing on several key elements of EU legislation on this issue: the directives on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy performance in buildings; the framework strategy for the Energy Union; and the heating and cooling strategy. Here are some of the dates when these topics will be discussed:

ENVI committee meetings: 12-13 October, 7-8, 28-29 November, 8 December

11 November: European Parliament will vote on the circular economy package

Cohesion policy

European towns and regions can greatly benefit from EU funds, but they often fail to access them because of the complexity of the process. Here are some key dates for cohesion policy in the coming months:

October: discussion on the amendments to a draft report concerning structural reforms (drafted by the European Parliament’s Committee on Regional Development).

6 December: CEMR event on local finances at the European Parliament in Brussels

Local and regional governments as employers

In Europe, local and regional public administrations employ more than 17 million workers. EU legislation on this issue has tremendous influence – here are the main dates on this area:

30 September: Deadline for the Commission’s consultation on work-life balance for working parents and caregivers.

31 December: deadline for the Commission’s public consultation on the European Pillar of Social Rights.


Only 15% of European mayors are women. There are still many rivers to cross in the fields of equality, diversity and inclusion in the EU. Here are the upcoming EU events on this topic:

26 September: Report on the application of the Council Directive implementing the principle of equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services

December: Proposal for a Council Decision on the signing, on behalf of the European Union, of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence


The refugee issue is a true challenge for European towns and regions, as funding is hard to get and relocation procedures are not always carried out as planned. Here are the EU events to follow on this issue:

21 September: meeting of the partnership on the inclusion of refugees and migrants of the Urban Agenda

26 September: LIBE committee meeting on reform asylum package

By the way, have you signed CEMR’s #localgov4refugees petition yet?

Finally, the key dates that are relevant to every topic the EU addresses that concern towns and regions are the plenary sessions in Strasbourg: 3-6 October, 21-24 November and 12-15 December.

This is not an exhaustive list. The dates mentioned here are some of the key dates for towns and regions in the EU agenda for the next few months.
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