Opinion Factsheet  

Balíček v oblasti evropské politiky sousedství

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Opinion Number: CDR 4459/2014
Rapporteur: GEBLEWICZ Olgierd
Commission: CIVEX
Status: Adopted
Date: 03/12/2014
 
Underline the necessity to support the local and regional dimension of the new European Neighbourhood Policy in order to extend the governmental cooperation since it would help bring citizens closer to a dialogue between EU and partner countries and involve new actors into the policy.
Invite to better highlight the role of the local and regional authorities and the importance of multi-level governance in achieving the goal of "deep democracy". Local and Regional authorities are not only implementing but are also important drivers of change in the ENP countries and many of them have original decentralised structures whereby the national level was linked to the Soviet regime.
Stress the need to promote strong and democratic governance at the sub-national level and focus the attention on the issues of local democracy in partner countries and problems of regional authorities.
Stress the importance of decentralisation, especially fiscal decentralisation and the respect of the Charter for Local Self-Government and capacity building on the local level to go through with the necessary reforms.
Highlight the fact that the CoR is the only EU body observing the local and regional elections in the ENP countries.
Reflect the strong commitment of the CoR in developing the local and regional aspect of the European Neighbourhood policy as demonstrated by the creation of ARLEM and CORLEAP and report on important strategic decisions and directions these bodies have taken and which would need to be responded to by the European Commission and other European institutions.
Highlight that the present communication lacks far behind the communications of 2011 and 2012 as there is no reference to the sub-national level at all and that this should be taken in consideration in the future having in consideration the involvement and the successful common activities of LRA from EU and ENP in this policy area and implementation process.
Reiterate that LRAs can work through the CoR’s engagement in the first thematic platform of the multilateral track of the EaP (on “democracy, good governance and stability”) as the primary means by which to showcase strategic management reform as a marker of enhanced local and regional governance capability.
Reiterate that CoR can lobby EU actors, starting with the European Commission to review the requirements to apply for EU financial assistance.
Reiterate that CoR can work closely with the European Commission competent services to identify ways in which the process of applying for EU financial assistance can be made easier for LRAs in the ENP countries.
Reiterate the importance of a coordinated bottom-up approach also in the field of the Neighbourhood policy and to support cooperation between the local and regional authorities from partner countries and the EU.
Request to develop suitable mechanisms to encourage direct dialogue, information exchange and know-how transfer also for the regional and local level in the partner countries (such as existing in the form of the Local Administration Facility in the Enlargement countries). Twinning and TAIEX are two instruments that have been widely deployed by the EU to bring partner countries closer to the EU and must be extended to the sub national level of government.
THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS



– would like to emphasise the importance of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) as an EU external policy instrument targeted at countries situated to the south and east of the EU, with a view to achieving closer relations between these countries and the EU;

– stresses the comprehensive and multilevel nature of ENP relations and the policy's multilevel governance. In view of this, support is needed for the ENP's regional and local dimension complementing cooperation at the level of national governments;

– emphasises the importance of two initiatives, i.e. the Eastern Partnership and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). These are regional dimensions of the ENP, and are not just thematic aspects of EU policy, but also reflect EU Member State foreign policy priorities at central, regional and local level;

– would like subnational governance levels to participate more actively and be more closely involved in the process of ENP implementation. The Committee of the Regions' strong commitment to the local and regional aspect of the ENP is reflected in its establishment of two platforms for dialogue and cooperation operating in parallel, i.e. the Euro-Mediterranean Local and Regional Assembly (ARLEM) and the Conference of Regional and Local Authorities for the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP);

– appreciates the European Union's efforts to support constitutional and economic reform processes through appropriate financial and technical support for ENP beneficiary countries; however, these efforts require further simplification and organisation. Increased EU support for neighbouring countries should be conditional on the progress of constitutional changes, democratisation and respect for the rule of law;

– points out that that the regional and local level has a fundamental role to play in properly forecasting, planning, implementing and monitoring support programmes and instruments; also argues that local and regional authorities (LRAs) should have easier access to funding, and that the associated mechanisms and procedures are in need of simplification.

Importance

High
Medium
Low
 

CoR Commission activity

Rapporteur participates in the Civex seminar on the Regional Dimension of EU Cooperation with Eastern Neighbour Countries, organized in Elblag (Poland)

 
08 Apr
 

Rapporteur's activities

Rapporteur is a speaker at the conference "The MED programme capitalisation: contributing to a stronger Europe" hosted by the Committee of the Regions

 
23 Mar
 

European Commission

The European Commission and the EU High Representative present a joint consultation paper "Towards a new European Neighbourhood Policy"

 
03 Mar
 

CoR Plenary Session

The opinion Civex-V-048 is adopted at the CoR plenary session

 
02 Dec
 

European Commission

Bilateral meeting between Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement – Mr Hahn with the President Lebrun on the subject of the ENP reform and its territorial dimension

 
30 Nov
 

Rapporteur's activities

Presentation of the Draft Opinion at the Contact group CoR/Congress of Council of Europe meeting

 
17 Nov
 

CoR Commission activity

The draft opinion was adopted in the CIVEX commission meeting

 
21 Sep
 

Council

European Council meeting: Association Agreements with Georgia and with the Republic of Moldova have been signed and the signature process with Ukraine completed, each providing for a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area

 
26 Jun
 

CoR Commission activity

Rapporteur presents a working document and holds discussion with CIVEX members

 
15 Jun
 

Rapporteur's activities

Rapporteur meets officials of the European External Action Service (EEAS): Mr Richard Tibbels (Head of Division for the Eastern Partnership, Regional Cooperation and the OSCE) and Ms Madeleine Majorenko (Head of Division on Eastern Neighbourhood Policy)

 
04 Jun
 

Rapporteur's activities

 
 

Rapporteur participates in a conference on "Devolution: Looking forward to Reforms in EaP Countries", organised by the Conference of the Regional and Local Authorities for the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP)

 
27 Apr
 

Rapporteur's activities

Rapporteur participates in the Bureau of the CORLEAP, outlining the main challenges of EU neighbourhood policy and presenting the timeline for drafting of the opinion

 
27 Apr
 

CoR Commission activity

 
 

The CIVEX commission appoints Mr Olgierd Geblewicz (PL/EPP) as a rapporteur for the opinion on the "European Neighbourhood Policy at crossroads – implementation of the ENP in 2013"

 
06 Apr
 

European Commission

Commission publishes a communication "Neighbourhood at the crossroads", JOIN (2014) 12 final

 
26 Mar