Reaching out to the regions: Commission makes good on its promises

As a further step in realizing the goals outlined in its White Paper on Governance, the Commission has launched a concerted effort on means to bring Europe’s regional authorities into the legislative process.

In a first step, the Commission launched a public consultation on its Governance-themed website to solicit contributions on how to improve and implement a concerted dialogue with regional and local authorities. Interested parties have until 23 May to post their contributions, based on the Commission working paper on the subject.

The working paper outlines the essential principles the Commission sees for collaboration with the regions. It hopes to hold a dialogue with regional associations preselected by the Council of the Regions on its annual work programme and relevant other policy areas. The Commission's plan considerably boosts the discerning position of the Committee of the Regions in identifying regional authorities concerned, particularly in light of EU enlargement. Regions might criticise the fact that the Commission retains the power of initiative in the dialogue: the working paper foresees that aside from meetings with the Commission President, additional sessions would be organized at the Commission's, not the regions' request.

Individual regions, the Commission says, will nevertheless retain an equal right of representation through open consultations, notably through the Internet.


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