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Europe - 05.07.2005
Future perspectives of the Union: Europe's municipalities and regions call on their national governments to show 'co-operative spirit"
The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) calls on Europe's heads of state and government, and on the leaders of EU Institutions to work together in a more co-operative spirit to make the European Union more effective, more democratic, more intelligible and more sensitive to its citizens' concerns and interests.
The call is included in the 'Declaration on the future perspectives of the European Union", adopted by CEMR's executive bureau, at its meeting on 4 July 2005, in Stuttgart.
We are disappointed by the 'no" victory in the referenda in France and the Netherlands, said CEMR first vice-president and mayor of The Hague, Wim Deetman, and we note that the European Council has decided to give itself a period of reflection; however CEMR believes this must not be an excuse for inaction, or worse, for going back on the improvements of the draft constitutional treaty. We believe that many parts of the Constitution could be implemented before, or even without, ratification of the Constitution. This includes the new protocol on subsidiarity.
CEMR's Declaration thus calls on the European Commission, European Parliament and Council of Ministers to introduce the subsidiarity and consultation procedures contained in the new protocol.
The future EU budget and the Structural Funds
CEMR's Executive Bureau also urges the European Council to reach agreement on the overall financial perspectives (budget) of the EU for the 2007-2013 period, without delay. Furthermore, any agreement must include provisions for a strong pan-European cohesion policy for that period, with funding no less than the 0.46% of EU gross national income, as proposed by the European Commission.
CEMR secretary general, Jeremy Smith, explains: We need a quick decision on the future EU budget for several reasons, the main one being that in many areas it takes months to plan and implement the allocation of financial resources. This is particularly true for the Structural Funds. As representative of Europe's local and regional government, CEMR believes that our heads of state and government must reach an agreement at the next meeting of the European Council. This can only be achieved if they put aside selfish national interests and work in a spirit of cooperation and compromises.