President of the Committee of the Regions (CoR), Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, has written to the European Council President, Herman Van Rompuy, highlighting concerns of regional and local authorities on the recently published paper: “Towards a genuine Economic and Monetary Union” (EMU). Valcárcel's intervention looks to contribute to the preparation of the European Council meeting on 13-14 December where Member States are expected to adopt a "specific and time-bound roadmap" for the completion of the EMU.President Valcárcel stressed that: "It is essential to recognise the key role of regional banks in providing capital for SMEs and public investment projects geared towards local and regional development". The local and regional dimension of the banking union should therefore be adequately taken into account.Referring to the emerging integrated budgetary framework, the CoR President called for suitable budgetary policies in order to make sure that new arrangements such as the Fiscal Compact Treaty and the so called 6 and 2 packs on economic and fiscal governance will not compromise local and regional self-government in the Member States. President Valcárcel urged Van Rompuy and the Council to fully address "the specific investment role of sub-national finance" and find appropriate ways to ensure that "regional and local authorities are involved when further developing contractual relations between the EU/Eurozone and Member States". According to the CoR President there is a "need to ensure policy co-ordination with all levels of governance". To this end, the Committee of the Regions has put forward the idea of Territorial Pacts between the various levels of governments which could serve as a model for finding adequate multi-level governance arrangements in this field.Finally, the CoR President drew attention to the challenge of ensuring democratic legitimacy and accountability of the reformed EMU at all levels of governance. President Valcárcel is committed to ensuring that the CoR continues to be an active partner in the further development of the EMU.
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