The CoR works to bring EU citizens closer to the EU. By involving regional and local representatives who are in daily contact with their electorate's concerns, but also by inviting citizens to participate in various events and debates, the CoR contributes to reducing the gap between the EU institutions' work and EU citizens.
Our mission is to involve regional and local authorities in the European decision-making process and thus to encourage greater participation from our fellow citizens.
Working in partnership is another pillar of the CoR's work. In other words, the CoR believes in coordinated action between the European, national, regional and local levels.
The principle of subsidiarity must be complied with throughout the EU legislative process, meaning that decisions must be taken at the level of government that best serves the public interest – locally where possible.
What kind of legislation gets debated?
The European Commission and the Council of the European Union must consult the CoR whenever new proposals are made in areas that have repercussions at regional or local level: economic, social and territorial cohesion, Structural Funds, European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund, employment and social affairs, education, youth, vocational training, culture and sport, environment, energy and climate change, transport, trans-European networks, and public health.
Outside these areas, the Commission, Council and European Parliament have the option to consult the CoR. The CoR adopts recommendations on draft EU laws and also proposes new policies on the basis of local and regional experience and expertise. It can also propose new laws and put new issues on the EU agenda.
The CoR's role was recognised and strengthened by the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009. The CoR must be consulted during all phases of the EU legislative process and can bring EU legislation before the European Court of Justice whenever it deems that its institutional rights or national, regional and local governments have been neglected. Consequently, the CoR's relations with the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council have been strengthened.
How does the CoR work?
The CoR is composed of 329 members and 329 alternates from all EU countries. Each national government proposes its regional and local representatives (members and alternates) – the national delegations. CoR members have a five-year term of office, starting from the date of their official appointment by the Council.
Six commissions (sub-committees), made up of members and grouped by policy areas, analyse the legislative texts drafted by the European Commission and draw up opinions, which are then discussed and adopted at CoR plenary sessions.
Every two-and-a-half years, the plenary assembly elects the CoR President and the First Vice-President. The President represents the Committee and directs its work. If the President is absent or unable to attend, he/she shall be represented by the First Vice-President or one of the other Vice-Presidents.
Are CoR members affiliated to political groups?
CoR members are grouped according to their political affiliation:
The groups generally meet before each plenary session. They may also hold two extraordinary meetings (away from Brussels) each year.
What is the CoR's annual budget?
The annual budget of the CoR is approximately EUR 96 million, covering expenses for staff as well as members' travel expenses, interpreting and communication activities. See here for detailed information on the budgets of all the EU institutions.
What impact does the CoR have?
The EU is not obliged to take the CoR's opinions into account, but in practice it does so, to a greater or lesser extent (see the European Commission's annual reports on its follow-up of CoR opinions, along with the CoR's own impact reports).
How much are the members paid?
Members are paid expenses only for attending meetings and their attendance is recorded in the minutes for all meetings available in the Members' Portal along with their personal details and activity at meetings.
- 70% of EU legislation has a direct regional and local impact
- 27 EU countries
- 329 locally and regionally elected members
- 6 commissions
- 6 political groups
- up to 6 plenary sessions per year
- more than 50 opinions adopted each year