The Renew Europe Group in the European Committee of the Regions (Renew Europe CoR) has reached 50 full members for the second time in its history. Following the departure of the United Kingdom, the liberals are proportionally larger than they have ever been, reaching 16% of CoR membership.
Together with 43 alternate members, Renew Europe CoR now has representatives of 20 different member states. Latvia and France are the largest delegations, but Renew Europe CoR also has local and regional representatives from all Nordic countries, the Benelux, all Baltic states, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Spain, Ireland, Romania, Italy as well as Greece for the first time. Bulgaria has yet to appoint its delegation to the CoR, and Renew Europe is expecting at least two additional full members in that delegation from the MRF party of ALDE Party Vice-President Ilhan Kyuchyuk.
Renew Europe CoR’s newest member bringing it to this high is Gusty Graas (DP, Luxembourg), a former journalist and now Deputy Mayor of Bettembourg municipality, and previously alternate member to the CoR. He is also a representative in the Luxembourgish Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Benelux Parliament of which he is President. Graas focuses on sustainable development, mobility (he oversaw the Benelux Parliament recommendation to make public transport between Belgium and Luxembourg free), foreign affairs, agriculture and the civil service.
Renew Europe CoR has been gradually extending its network of activities beyond its CoR membership to help other liberal subnational politicians participate in the EU’s policy work. Renew Europe CoR also runs the Liberal Mayors Network which brings together several hundred mayors from around Europe, including the five capital cities or seats of government: Bratislava, Luxembourg, The Hague, Tallinn and Vilnius. Moreover, liberals hold senior Deputy Mayor positions in Madrid and Stockholm. Together with LYMEC, Renew Europe CoR also runs the summits of Young Elected Local and Regional Leaders, the next edition of which is scheduled to take place after the summer.