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Charter for Multilevel Governance in Europe is open for signature

Time for cities and regions to become key partners in shaping a new Europe!

On the occasion of Europe Day on 9 May, the EU's Committee of the Regions (CoR) is calling all local and regional authorities to sign up to the "Charter for Multilevel Governance in Europe". With the European elections on 23-25 May, the CoR urges all levels of government to use "multilevel governance" as a guiding principle in policy design, helping to learn from each other, share best practices and further develop participatory democracy. The Charter is available online and is open for electronic signature by cities and regions at www.cor.europa.eu/mlgcharter.

 
What is the Charter for Multilevel Governance?
 
Adopted by the CoR on 3 April 2014 and supported by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, the Charter is a political manifesto from European cities and regions inviting all public authorities to make "multilevel governance" a reality in day-to-day policy-making and delivery. This primarily involves working in partnership between the different levels of government (local, regional, national and European) and applying a set of principles that should guide efficient policy-making, such as participation,cooperation, openness, transparency, inclusiveness and policy coherence, all of which are essential conditions to guarantee the success of public policies in the interest of the citizens.
 
CoR President Ramón Luis Valcárcel said: "On Europe Day, two weeks ahead of the European elections, the launch of the signatory campaign on the Charter for Multilevel Governance by the CoR marks the strong will of regional and local authorities all across Europe to become fully-fledged partners in EU policy making. Only by acting together can responsible actors at all levels of governance close the 'delivery gap' ensuring the EU meets its objectives on sustainable growth, quality jobs creation and territorial cohesion."
 
Although not legally binding, the Charter will commit its signatories to use multilevel governance in the management of public policies, to launch projects in partnership with both the public and private sectors, to further develop territorial cooperation and to modernise their administration. This is all part of the CoRs' commitment to ensuring a good application of "subsidiarity", which places decisions at the most effective level and as close to citizens as possible.
 
Who can sign?
  • Signature of the Charter is open to all European Union local and regional authorities, i.e. city, county, district, metropolitan area, province, region, etc.
  • European and national associations of local and regional authorities, as well as local and regional authority networks, are also invited to give their formal support.
  • Politicians at all levels of governance can give their support by signing the Charter.
For what purposes?
 
By adhering to the Charter, signatories will aim to:
  • use multilevel governance to foster a "European mind-set" in their region/city by co-operating with political and administrative bodies from the local to the European level, and vice-versa;
  • promote cross-border collaboration with other regions/cities whilst overcoming administrative hurdles and geographic frontiers;
  • modernise their administration , taking full advantage of digital and innovative solutions, increasing transparency and openness, whilst offering quality public services easily accessible to the citizens;
  • promote citizen and civil society participation in the decision making process, hence further developing participatory democracy.
What are the benefits?
 
Adhesion will allow signatories' initiatives, taken in accordance to the Charter, to gain more visibility. Such initiatives will be highlighted on the website of the Charter and at high-level events organised for local and regional authorities, Member States and European institutions.
 
The Charter website and events will serve as platforms for exchange to:
  • identify good practices and innovative projects launched by other signatories;
  • look for potential partners before launching joint initiatives;
  • prepare and monitor EU policies at the local and regional level, but also together with the European institutions.
How to join?
 
- To sign or support the Charter, local and regional authorities and their networks/associations must complete a short online form available at: www.cor.europa.eu/mlgcharter
 
Background
 
With its 2009 White Paper on Multilevel governance , the CoR launched a public consultation for drafting the charter in order to include a common and shared understanding of European governance in the core values of the European Union. The CoR then renewed this commitment in a report on " Building a European culture of multilevel governance: follow-up to the Committee of the Regions' White Paper " . Since then the CoR has been actively developing a method for monitoring usage of multilevel governance by European institutions, regularly produces a scoreboard on the issue, and is working on compiling good multilevel governance practices in cooperation with the European Commission.
 
Multilevel governance is recognised as a guiding principle in the new EU rules for the management of the Structural and Investment Funds 2014-2020.
 
More information:
• For any questions about the Charter, write to: mlgcharter@cor.europa.eu.
 
Contact:
For press enquiries:
Tel. +32 2 282 24 99
 
For questions regarding the Charter/signing process:
Tel. +32 2 282 20 96
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