At the next plenary session of the Committee of the Regions, to be held in the European Parliament on 15-16 February, the European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, will discuss with members the regional implication of the new treaty on fiscal discipline and the role of regional and local authorities in the implementation of new measures for growth and jobs.
How will the CoR support the initiatives announced by the Council and the Commission to boost youth employment? What impact will there be on the current structural funds programmes? How can regional authorities contribute to the deployment of the "action teams" in member states experiencing the highest rates of jobless youngsters?
The debate and the adoption of a specific CoR resolution will provide the opportunity to clarify these questions and to better understand the implications of the new rules for national and regional investments.
The participation of the EC President will also provide the occasion for signing the renewed cooperation agreement with the European Commission that reinforces the political role of the CoR following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty.
Before the debate with President Barroso scheduled on 16 February, discussions on emerging EU financial issues will begin on the first day of the plenary with the adoption of the opinion on the introduction of a tax on financial transactions drafted by Ralf Christoffers (DE/PES), Minister for Economic and European Affairs of the State of Brandenburg.
The common fisheries policy reform, cross-border regional partnerships, multi-level governance and the European Entrepreneurial Region 2013 award are among the other main highlights of the agenda.
European Commissioner responsible for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, will address CoR members on 15 February to outline the Commission's proposals for a major reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy. The CoR position on the issue, which will be presented by Mieczyslaw Struk (PL/EPP), raises a wide range of issues, from effective long-term management of fish stocks and controlling discards to the role of regional and local authorities in conservation measures and implementation of the policy.
On the same day, the means to clarify, to simplify and to improve the establishment and implementation of "European groupings for territorial cooperation" (also known as EGTC) will be discussed on the basis of an opinion drafted by Michel Delebarre (FR/PES). The plenary will also host the European Entrepreneurial Region 2013 Award Ceremony, during which CoR President Mercedes Bresso will award the label to representatives from the regions of Nord-Pas-de-Calais (France), Southern Denmark and Styria (Austria).
On the plenary's second day, Nicolai Wammen, Danish Minister for European Affairs will present the priorities of the Danish Presidency with regard to regions and cities. CoR members will also discuss how to better integrate multi-level governance into European policies, in particular as regards the Europe 2020 Strategy, and will agree on recommendations to reinforce its implementation (rapporteur Luc Van den Brande, (BE/EPP).
For the first time, following the signature of the accession treaty and the successful referendum, the nine newly appointed representatives from Croatian regions and cities will take part in the plenary session as official observers.
The plenary session will be preceded on 14 February by a one day Forum on the European Year 2012. The conference will focus on the regional and local strategies for "Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations". About 200 policy-makers and practitioners from the European institutions, regional authorities and civil society will discuss their vision and experiences in this key domain of Europe 2020 (www.cor.europa.eu/EY2012
The debates will be streamed live at www.cor.europa.eu
on Wednesday 15 February from 3 pm and Thursday 16 February from 9 am.
For more information, please contact:
+32 (0)2 282 2461
+32 (0)2 282 20 85
+32 0)2 282 24 99
+32 (0)2 282 20 85