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The Committee of the Regions cooperates with local and regional authorities outside the EU to forge partnerships and share knowledge and good practices across borders. It has set up several international forums such as the CoR-UK Contact Group, the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) and the Conference of the Regional and Local Authorities for the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP). The CoR has also established joint consultative committees and working groups to promote political dialogue with local and regional authorities in accession countries.

CoR-UK Contact Group

In order to ensure continuing political cooperation with representatives of UK local government and devolved parliaments and assemblies following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, in its meeting of 12 February 2020 the Bureau approved the creation of a CoR-UK Contact Group.

The CoR’s Bureau established a Contact Group for relations with representatives of UK local government and devolved administrations to ensure that political dialogue with these representatives continues after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Moreover, the Contact Group’s purpose is mainly to:

  • act as a forum for continuing dialogue and political partnership between EU local and regional authorities and UK local government and devolved parliaments and assemblies, and to exchange know-how, in particular on cross-border issues;
  • provide local and regional authorities (LRAs) with the opportunity to discuss problems or opportunities regarding the relationship between EU LRAs and UK local government and devolved parliaments and assemblies arising from the UK’s withdrawal from the EU;
  • give EU LRAs and UK local government and devolved parliaments and assemblies a means of discussing EU legislation and possible changes to EU legislation currently applicable in the UK where it would affect them even after the UK’s departure from the EU.

On 29 June 2020, Bureau members adopted the political objectives and working methods of the CoR – United Kingdom Contact Group. The EPP-CoR Group has pushed for further debate and discussions on:

  • the development of cross-border and inter-regional cooperation in the area of education and research;
  • an organised awareness campaign on the consequences of the EU – UK agreement for LRAs;
  • the future EU-UK trade relations and evaluation for LRAs;
  • cooperation with European networks. Here, opportunities and challenges can be identified and followed-up at a more decentralised level.

EPP-CoR  Members:

  • Ellen Nauta-Van Moorsel (NL), head of the Dutch delegation and mayor Hof van Twente
  • Michael Murphy (IE), head of the CoR’s Irish delegation and member of Tipperary County Council
  • Aleksandra Dulkiewicz (PL), mayor of Gdańsk
  • Pehr Granfalk (SE), mayor of Solna
  • Deirdre Forde (IE), member of Cork City Council. (alternate member)

 

ARLEM

The Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) is a permanent, joint assembly which represents the local and regional dimension in the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).

ARLEM  brings together 80 members and 2 observers from the EU and its Mediterranean partner countries, as well as an equal number of alternates. Members and alternates are representatives of regions and local bodies and hold a regional or local authority mandate.

ARLEM has observer status in the UfM and participates regularly in Senior Officials Meetings.

It also brings the territorial dimension of projects selected by the Secretariat-General of the UfM and ensures the exchange of best practices.

ARLEM is chaired by a co-presidency representing equally the Mediterranean partners and the EU. The co-president from the Mediterranean partners’ group is confirmed by consensus by that group for a period of two and a half years. The co-president from the EU is the CoR president-in-office. The 2020-2022 ARLEM co-presidents are Apostolos Tzitzikostas, CoR president and president of Central Macedonia region, Greece, and Musa Hadid, Mayor of Ramallah, Palestine.

 

 

The ARLEM Bureau defines the Assembly’s strategy and range of activities.
Within the Commission for Sustainable  Territorial Development, ARLEM rapporteurs elaborate thematic reports on topics referring to the fields of:

  • decentralisation
  • urban and territorial development
  • cultural cooperation
  • the information society
  • migration and integration
  • small and medium-sized enterprises
  • trade
  • sustainable development
  • water management
  • waste management
  • energy, particularly solar energy
  • transport
  • agriculture
  • tourism

 

The EPP CoR Group expresses 10 members and 10 alternates in ARLEM.

Besides President Tzitzikostas, two EPP CoR members seat in the ARLEM Bureau: Mr Mark Speich, Secretary of State for Federal, European and International Affairs of North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany) and Mrs Rodi Kratsa, Governor of Ionian Islands Region (Greece)

 


EPP-CoR ARLEM Members:

  • Apostolos TZITZIKOSTAS (CoR President)
  • Olgierd GEBLEWICZ (EPP-CoR President)
  • Samuel AZZOPARDI
  • Nikola DOBROSLAVIĆ
  • Rodi KRATSA
  • Eleni LOUKAIDOU
  • Frank PROUST
  • Agnès RAMPAL
  • Ricardo RIO
  • Mark SPEICH
  • Donato TOMA

CORLEAP

The Conference of Regional and Local Authorities for the Eastern Partnership, also known as “CORLEAP”, is the political forum of local and regional authorities from the European Union and the Eastern Partnership countries. CORLEAP is the only EU platform that offers an opportunity to discuss the contribution by cities and regions in the development of the Eastern Partnership.

CORLEAP consists of 36 regional and local politicians: 18 from the European Committee of the Regions and 18 from the six Eastern Partnership countries. The body is co-chaired by the President of the Committee of the Regions and a representative from the partner countries whom is elected by CORLEAP members each year. The EU is represented by Mr Markku Markkula, the partner countries are represented by Mr Anar Ibrahimov.

Objectives

CORLEAP aims to:

  • Coordinate the representation of the local and regional authorities within the Eastern Partnership;
  • complement and support the effort by the EU institutions and other participating stakeholders in delivering the European Neighbourhood Policy;
  • spread the concepts that will bring partner countries closer to the EU and foster the internal reform and capacity building at the local and regional level.

 


EPP-CoR CORLEAP Members:

  • Markku MARKKULA (Co-President)
  • Gheorghe FALCĂ
  • Roman LÍNEK
  • Pascal MANGIN
  • Pauliina HAIJANEN

Joint Consultative Committees and Working Groups currently in the CoR

Institutional context

The CoR’s official position on enlargement is primarily prepared by the CIVEX commission and adopted by the Plenary Assembly, through opinions on the European Commission’s enlargement package. In this context, the Joint Consultative Committees (JCCs) and Working Groups (WGs) play an active supporting role in contributing to the work of the Bureau, of the CIVEX members and of its Rapporteurs by informing on the results of the debates during the meetings with the partner countries.

Working Groups (WGs) are composed only of members of the CoR. They are created directly by a decision of the CoR Bureau in accordance with the CoR Rules of Procedure . The participation of local and regional representatives from the partner countries in meetings of the Working Groups varies according to the topics discussed and the place of the meeting. The Working Groups usually constitute a contact point with the LRAs of the partner countries and are used as a tool to deepen specific bilateral/multilateral issues.

Joint Consultative Committees (JCCs) are created between the Committee of the Regions and local and regional representatives of the candidate countries for EU accession following a request from the government of the partner country concerned and on the basis of the provisions set down in the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) or in an official declaration of the Stabilisation and Association Council between the Council of the European Union and the candidate country.

They are composed of an equal number of CoR members (and replacement members) and local and regional representatives from the partner country. JCCs are co-chaired by a CoR member and a member from the partner country, and decisions are taken jointly. Furthermore, the functioning of the JCCs is regulated by the “Rules of Procedures” adopted within each JCC.

Given the stability of their membership, JCCs allow for a consistent and stable cooperation with local and regional authorities of the partner country, offering increased co-ownership, and ensuring a more proactive role for the representatives of the partner country. The JCCs have an important role in promoting dialogue and cooperation between LRAs in the EU and in the candidate countries.

montenegro

JCC Montenegro

Joint Consultative Committee with Montenegro

The Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) between the Committee of the Regions and Montenegro was set up in 2011 with the approval of the CoR Bureau and a decision of the EU – Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Council.

The purpose of the JCC Montenegro is to promote dialogue and cooperation with local and regional authorities in Montenegro and to support them on their EU integration path. Meetings are held twice a year, once in Brussels in the framework of the Enlargement Day of the CoR and once in Montenegro.

The current Work programme 2020-2025 has been discussed and adopted at the 14th JCC Montenegro meeting on 18 November 2020 and defines the scope of work. In the next five years the activities of member will focus on monitoring the enlargement process, especially the territorial dimension of the EU acquis, encourage cross-border cooperation, promote decentralisation and local self-government while upholding EU values.

Part of the topics which the JCC will address are:

  • Local democracy, good governance, rule of law and fundamental rights;
  • Environment protection, climate action and energy;
  • Local economic development;
  • Demographic and social issues;
  • Cross-border cooperation;
  • The social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Montenegro and the way to recovery

 


EPP-CoR Members:

  • Sergio CACI
  • Željko TURK

EPP-CoR Alternate Members:

  • Armao GAETANO
  • Nikolaos CHIOTAKIS

 

macedonia

JCC FYROM

Joint consultative committee with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)

A Joint Consultative Committee between the CoR and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was set up by the CoR Bureau on 3 March 2008, with a view to encouraging better integration of the territorial dimension in the enlargement process. Its establishment decided during the fourth meeting of the EU – former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Stabilisation and Association Council Brussels, 24 July 2007 : “The SA Council expressed support for the request made by the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to create Joint Consultative Committees with the EU’s Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of Regions respectively”.

The Joint Consultative Committee prepares the ground for the enlargement of the European Union by promoting political dialogue and cooperation between the regional and local authorities in the European Union and their counterparts in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Through this JCC, CoR members have access to an appropriate framework for establishing guidelines and policy aims with respect to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and to benefit from the support of a forum for dialogue with their local and regional authorities.


EPP-CoR Members:

  • Ondřej BENEŠÍK
  • Michael MURPHY
  • József RIBÁNYI
  • Ivan ŽAGAR

EPP-CoR Alternate Members:

  • Mihkel JUHKAMI
  • Alin-Adrian NICA
  • Spyros SPYRIDON
  • Deirdre FORDE
serbia

JCC Serbia

Joint Consultative Committee with Serbia

During its 153rd meeting held on 24 June 2014, the Committee of the Regions Bureau decided to set up a Joint Consultative Committee with Serbia  on the basis of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement  between the European Union and its Member States, on the one hand, and Serbia, on the other hand.

The JCC’s will reinforce the CoR’s longstanding action in favour of greater inclusion of the territorial dimension in the stabilisation and association process for South Eastern Europe and of a political dialogue between the EU’s local and regional authorities and their Serbian counterparts.

The inaugural meeting of the JCC could be organised in the first half of 2015, following the designation of the members and the co-Chairs, in cooperation with the Serbian counterparts.


EPP-CoR Members:

  • Anna MAGYAR
  • Alin-Adrian NICA

EPP-CoR Alternate Members:

  • Isidoro GOTTARDO
  • Adam STRUZIK
turkey

WG Turkey

Working group on Turkey

The Working Group with Turkey was created by the CoR Bureau on 5 December 2006, in order to provide CoR members with a forum for dialogue with the Turkish sub-national authorities.

The Working Group strives to foster inter-institutional cooperation as well as cooperation between local and regional authorities in Turkey and the EU. In addition, the Working Group contributes to the work of the CoR/CIVEX Rapporteurs responsible for drafting the CoR’s position on enlargement through in-depth and inclusive debate.

As part of its strategy on enlargement, the CoR has called for the establishment of a Joint Consultative Committee involving its own representatives and representatives of Turkish local and regional authorities.


EPP-CoR Members:

  • Csaba BORBOLY
  • António BRAGANÇA FERNANDES
  • Marek WOŹNIAK
  • Mihkel JUHKAMI

EPP-CoR Alternate Members:

  • Nikolaos CHIOTAKIS
  • Pauliina HAIJANEN
  • Mihkel JUHKAMI
  • Roberto PELLA
eu-flag

WG Western Balkans

Working group on the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo [under UNSCR 1244])

The Working Group (WG) on the Western Balkans was created in 2006. It currently includes Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244). Its role is to provide CoR members with an instrument aimed at encouraging greater inclusion of the territorial dimension in the enlargement process for the Western Balkans countries.

The WG contributes to the CoR’s involvement in inter-institutional cooperation in this field, while maintaining political dialogue between the EU’s local and regional authorities and their Western Balkan counterparts. In addition, the WG contributes to the work of the CoR Rapporteurs responsible for setting out the CoR’s position on Enlargement through an in-depth and inclusive debate mainly with local authorities in the region. It consists of twelve CoR members, meets three times a year and operates on a country-by-country approach, ensuring that each meeting is dedicated to a specific Western Balkan country


EPP-CoR Members:

  • Nikola DOBROSLAVIĆ, HR (Chair)
  • Tanya HRISTOVA, BG
  • Roman LINEK, CZ

EPP-CoR Alternate Members:

  • Arnoldas ABRAMAVIČIUS, LT
  • Radim SRŠEŇ, CZ
  • Pauliina HAIJANEN, FI
  • Martin EICHTINGER, AT