As part of the European Committee of the Regions delegation on the Conference on the Future of Europe (COFOE), five members of Renew Europe CoR will aim to strengthen the role of local and regional authorities in the EU.
The members of the Renew Europe CoR delegation include:
- François Decoster, Renew Europe CoR President and Mayor of Saint-Omer, France
- Mirja Vehkaperä, chair of the city board of Oulu, Finland
- Paula Fernández Viaña, Minister of the Interior, Justice and Foreign Action in the government of Cantabria
- Jasna Gabrič, Mayor of Trbovjle, Slovenia
- Dainis Turlais, city councillor in Riga, Latvia
Moreover, Renew Europe CoR Simone Beissel, Deputy Mayor of Luxembourg City, also participates in the Conference on the Future of Europe, representing Luxembourg.
Mayor François Decoster said: "One of the main concerns for citizens is that the EU is relevant to them, not distant, and delivers results. As the local and regional councillors in the EU amount to one million, it is essential that local and regional politicians in the EU are more involved in reaching out to citizens regarding EU affairs.
I have been championing two projects for several years, that I would like to see in the final conclusions of the Conference:
- Setting up of an Erasmus for local and regional councillors – involving trainings in Brussels and in one or two other municipalities and/or regions in Europe.
- EU councillors - all local and regional councils to appoint one councillor responsible for EU affairs.
A huge network of EU councillors can help keep citizens connected, informed, and contributing to policy results. And the Erasmus can help train that network to deliver EU policies on the ground."
COFOE is a unique opportunity to strengthen the democratic dimension of the EU and to restore citizens’ trust in the European project. The CoR will present its final contribution to the Conference at the 9th European Summit of Regions and Cities, to be held during the French Presidency of the Council on 3-4 March 2022.