Political developments in the foreign countries of Eastern Europe and the Southern Caucasus have an impact on the European Union's security, stability and prosperity. The conflict in Georgia in August 2008 demonstrated how important a stable neighbourhood is for the EU.
This is why the European Commission launched the "Eastern Partnership" (EaP) in December 2008, putting forward concrete ideas for enhancing the EU's relationship with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The initiative wants to bring those countries closer to the EU and promote internal reforms based on democratic principles and good governance.
The European Commission invited the Committee of the Regions (CoR) to establish a platform for dialogue between local and regional authorities from the partner countries and the EU. The CoR decided in 2011 to set up such a body composed by 36 members, the Conference of the Regional and Local Authorities for the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP).
The inaugural meeting of CORLEAP was held in Poznan on 8 September 2011 and concluded successfully with the adoption of recommendations, which were delivered by President Bresso to the Heads of State and Government of the EU and the Eastern Partnership in Warsaw on 29-30 September. The inaugural meeting reflected the need for a local and regional dimension and devised an initial direction for the further development of CORLEAP.
CORLEAP has adopted an Action Plan with political and operational dimensions leading up to the Summit in autumn 2012.