The work of the European Committee of the Regions on Citizens' dialogues and consultations was recognised last week in the European Council – in particular at point 15 of the
European Council conclusions :
The European Council welcomes the holding of Citizens' Dialogues and Citizens' Consultations, which was an unprecedented opportunity to engage with European citizens and which could serve as an inspiration for further consultations and dialogues". The joint report prepared by the current and the incoming Presidency, together with the different national reports and input from the other European institutions, identify a number of concerns and expectations on the part of the participating citizens in terms of concrete results from the EU. At their informal meeting in Sibiu on 9 May 2019, Heads of State or Government will discuss priorities for the next institutional cycle, with a view to agreeing on the next Strategic Agenda in June 2019".
Furthermore, the Committee of the Regions was specifically mentioned in the
Council citizens' consultations – Joint report :
"At the request of the President of the European Council, the Committee of the Regions organised a vast number of events in various European regions over the last two years, while the EESC promoted the involvement of key civil society stakeholders in dialogues about the future of Europe."
Additional references to the Committee of the Regions include the:
The President of the Committee of the Regions was first to react last Friday, with his counterpart from the European Economic and Social Committee, calling for
a permanent mechanism for structured consultations and dialogues :
'Permanent' - because dialogues like this need to happen in all regions and cities as often as possible, not just around (European) elections;
'Structured' - to match those issues where the EU can actually act (like climate change, cohesion, digital etc.).
'Mechanism' - so regional and local politicians whether Members or not can - through the Committee of the Regions - influence EU initiatives, legislation and implementation on the ground and
'Dialogue' because this remains a listening exercise to relay concerns from regions and local authorities to the EU.
The Committee of the Regions will be following up on the proposal through the Declaration of the
8th Summit of EU Regions and cities in Bucharest on 14-15 March 2019.
And the European Committee of the Regions continues to collect citizens'
feedback via the EU-branded '
Have Your Say on Europe
' online survey / mobile app available in all 24 languages.
are available in real time.