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Rome Declaration: regions' and cities' voice has been heard, together we will build a European Union with and for the citizens
President Markkula joined the official celebration of the EU 60th anniversary.

"We must be proud of Europe's achievements over 60 years of peace and prosperity. My message here in Rome is clear: our Union will only survive and deliver on its promises if citizens and their regional and local communities are personally engaged. The European Committee of the Regions stands ready to make it happen", said the CoR President Markku Markkula, taking part in the official celebration of the EU 60th anniversary on 25 March in Rome.

The Rome Declaration shows a strong commitment to 'listen and respond to the concerns expressed by our citizens ' and 'work together at the level that makes a real difference, be it the European Union, national, regional, or local, and in a spirit of trust and loyal cooperation, both among Members States and between them and the EU institutions, in line with the principle of subsidiarity '.

"The signature of the Rome Declaration marks a turning point for opening up the European project to citizens" stressed President Markkula. "Today, in all modesty, we need to go back to basics. Everything we do must be founded on trust. The European Committee of the Regions will work to make sure that those in power listen to the concerns of citizens' and take EU decisions as close as possible to the places where they live and work".

The CoR First Vice-President, Karl-Heinz Lambertz, said that: "Europe and the very citizens it represents face a deep social, economic and democratic crisis. We must urgently stand up for social justice and protection whilst championing our common values and the solidarity that unite us. The role of local and regional authorities in reconnecting Europe with its citizens cannot be understated. In these testing times, they must be at the very heart the reflection on the future of Europe. The time now is for their role within the European Union to not only be recognised, but enhanced."

Note to the editors:

As part of its contribution to the ongoing political reflection on Europe's future , the CoR has launched " Reflecting on Europe ", a bottom-up initiative offering a space for local and regional authorities and for citizens to present their thoughts and ideas about the past-present-future of Europe.

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