Brussels, December 9 (TASR) – The Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) is a unique opportunity to bring the EU closer to its citizens and strengthen their sense of belonging to the European project, members of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) – an advisory body to the European Commission – have agreed in a discussion with chair of the CoR High Level Group on European Democracy Herman Van Rompuy and head of the French Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region Renaud Muselier.
The CoR noted that, with 1.17 million locally and regionally elected representatives in the EU, local and regional authorities are the largest level of democratic representation and are closest to the public. Collectively, they are responsible for half of public investment in the EU and for implementing more than half of the Union’s legislation.
“If the EU is to increase its democratic legitimacy, it is essential to involve the local and regional level more in the EU decision-making process and to establish a permanent dialogue with the public for the upcoming discussions after the Conference,” reads the CoR’s official press release.
CoR president Apostolos Tzitzikostas stated that the CoFoE “must commit itself to taking this unique opportunity to place regions at the heart of the European Union’s future democratic architecture. We want to strengthen multi-level governance in the EU for implementing EU legislation.
The million local and regional elected representatives across Europe that we represent can help to restore people’s trust in our democracy”, he added. Van Rompuy called the CoFoE “a unique opportunity to bring the existing local dimension of our democracy into the debate”, noting that the CoR could play an important role as coordinator, facilitator and communicator in the multi-level governance system.