The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the
Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies
(CALRE) launched a pilot project today to strengthen the involvement of
regional parliaments with legislative competences in the EU
The initiative "Input from political debates in regional parliaments"
was launched today during the
9th Subsidiarity Conference
held in the Italian Senate in Rome. The topics of the regional debates
held across Europe will be used to feed the EU legislative process
early on during the drafting of the annual European Commission
work programme. The Committee – the EU's assembly of local and regional governments -
will oversee the project, collating input, thereby ensuring the
implementation of the principle of subsidiarity and that decisions are
taken as close to citizens, with the EU only acting when it is viewed
as being more effective than at the national, regional or local level.
The Committee's President Karl-Heinz Lambertz, who is
also President of Belgium's German-speaking Community Parliament, said:
"This initiative fires the starting gun on involving regional
parliaments’ in EU policy making at an early stage. This project comes
at a perfect moment just before the EU launches its Conference on the
Future of Europe to reconnect with its citizens. We need to maximise
the impact of every EU law by involving the right level of government -
including those closest to citizens – regions and cities - throughout
the policy-making to ensure they impact on daily life. The outcome of
these regional parliament debates will be shared with the European
Commission and contribute to future policy-making. It is not about less
Europe, but an effective Europe that delivers results, putting citizens
The President of the Italian Senate Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, opened the
conference and stressed how urgent is for the European Union and its
Member States to provide adequate answers to citizens requests of
counting more in EU decisions.
The initiative was endorsed by Antonio Tajani, Chair
of the European Parliament's Committee on Constitutional Affairs: "The
pilot project goes in the right direction and aims at a stronger
involvement of regional parliaments in EU decision making. Regions'
role is vital in implementing EU policies ranging from agriculture to
tourism, from transport to health. Regional councillors should be part
of the forthcoming Conference on the future of Europe, which will be
called by President von der Leyen next year. Only by involving
democratically elected representatives can we bring EU institutions
closer to citizens" he said.
A priority that is fully shared by the coordinator of the Italian
association of the Presidents of regional councils Rosa D'Amelio: "The Legislative Assemblies of regions
are ready to contribute to the process of the Conference on the future
of Europe which must be the embryo of a true European public space".
The President of Westpomerania Region Olgierd Geblewicz said: "In order to reconnect with the people and counter the call for renationalisation of EU policies, more impetus must be given to the construction of a culture of subsidiarity. The Committee of the Regions' task is to communicate the European Union's added value to the citizens living in our regions, cities and villages and to revive the European dream in their hearts and souls".
The input from regional parliaments during this project will be used to
contribute to the early stage of EU decision-making. All EU regional
parliaments with legislative power are welcome to participate the
project "by contacting the CALRE secretariat (email@example.com) by 24 January 2020. Participating parliaments will
be selected shortly after the closing date with debates expected to
take place between 1 March and 15 May 2020.
It complements another project being organised by the Committee - the
(RegHubs) project launched in 2019 - where 36 regions are assessing the
effectiveness of a selected number of EU policies currently being
implemented like public procurement and air quality.
Note for Editors:
The Subsidiarity Conference is led by the European
Committee of the Regions every two years with the aim of boosting the
momentum of inter-institutional subsidiarity monitoring work and
allowing real dialogue between all partners involved in the
subsidiarity monitoring process. The Rome event is the ninth of these
conferences, each of which has been held in a different EU Member
Subsidiarity ensures that the EU can only act when it is more effective
than the national, regional or local levels in tackling certain issues.
It is about ensuring that there is sufficient added value in all the
The concept of Active Subsidiarity is a new way of working that takes the
traditional approach to subsidiarity a step further. It encourages all
institutional, national and sub-national actors to contribute
constructively to improving the added value of EU legislation throughout
the policymaking cycle. The Active Subsidiarity approach was proposed by
the CoR during the
Task Force on Subsidiarity, Proportionality and Doing Less More
established by the current European Commission President Jean-Claude
Juncker in November 2017 and chaired by Vice-President Frans Timmermans.
The concept of Active Subsidiarity was taken up in the
European Commission's Communication on the principles of
subsidiarity and proportionality in October 2018