The EU's Assembly of Regional and Local Representatives
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About COR
Council of Europe

The European Union and the Council of Europe as the two biggest international organisations on the European continent do not only have an overlapping membership structure with 27 of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe are at the same time members of the European Union, they also have common goals. Both seek to achieve greater unity between the states of Europe through respect for the shared values of pluralist democracy, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms as well as through pan-European cooperation, thus promoting democratic stability and security to which European societies and citizens aspire.

Cooperation between the CoR and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe

Therefore the European Union and the Council of Europe cooperate in many areas of joint interest and this cooperation comprises also the various institutions of both organisations. Also in the Council of Europe, there is one institution that represents the local and regional level: the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities. Like the Committee of the Regions it is a political assembly composed of representatives holding an electoral mandate on the local or regional level.

Cooperation between the CoR and the Congress started soon after the CoR was established in 1994 and increased ever since. In 2005 a Cooperation Agreement was signed to have a legal framework in which further cooperation could develop.

Today a "Contact Group" made up of six politicians from each institution meets twice a year to discuss issues of joint interest and to perform a steering function with regard to the overall cooperation between both institutions. There are various joint activities between the CoR commissions and the respective committees within the Congress as well as joint action with regard to communication. Furthermore the Presidents and Secretaries General of CoR and Congress meet on a regular basis.

Cooperation between the European Union and the Council of Europe is likely to increase further in the years to come. On the basis of a report on the relations between both organisations, presented by Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker in April 2006, the European Union and the Council of Europe signed a Memorandum of Understanding in May 2007 to strengthen their partnership.

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