Network of Regional Hubs  

Official Launch of RegHub at the European Summit of Regions and Cities in Bucharest

 

Successful political launch of the Network of Regional Hubs at the 8th Conference of Regions and Cities in Bucharest on 15 March 2019, attended by CoR president Karl-Heinz Lambertz and CoR first vice-president Markku Markkula as well as political representatives of the hubs.

  • CoR president Karl-Heinz Lambertz, welcomed the many political representatives of the network's member regions. He paid tribute to the work of the Task Force on Subsidiarity and pointed out that regions and cities have unique and valuable experience in implementing EU policies and that the network is the instrument to integrate that experience in EU policy making. He confirmed he is confident that the network's implementation reports will have real impact on the EU's policy making.
  • In a recorded video message, EU Commission vice-president Timmermans welcomed the launch of the network and expressed his hope that the network's reports can feed into the Commission's impact assessments and evaluations with first-hand knowledge and experience from those having to implement EU law in their daily work.
  • The governor of Carinthia (Austria), Peter Kaiser, pointed out that the regional hubs should not only focus their work on EU-institutions but also proactively approach society and citizens.
  • Catiuscia Marini, president of the Umbria Region (Italy), was also present. She said that this project should first and foremost improve the relationship between European and regional legislation, and consequently improve and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of interventions in the territories, both for the benefit of the business system and for the citizens themselves.
  • Francois Decoster, vice-president of the Hauts-de-France Region (France), stressed in his statement the prominent role of the members of the regional hubs network in the practical application of the principle of active subsidiarity, where they could contribute with their experience to improve EU legislation.

 

What is the Network of Regional Hubs, also known as #RegHub?

What are our objectives?

Concretely we aim at

  • Strengthening the focus in improving existing EU legislation and its implementation at local and regional level
  • Providing technical feedback on the implementation of EU legislation at local and regional level
  • Ensuring a better involvement of local and regional actors at an early stage of the EU legislative process
  • Promoting simplification and interregional learning in implementing and further developing EU legislation

What exactly is a Regional Hub?

Similar to an airport hub from which many services operate and connecting journeys can be made, a regional hub acts as a contact point which is able to contact, involve, partner up and maintain close contact with various stakeholders involved in EU policy implementation.

Being located in a subnational administration, the contact point will act as an intermediary between the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and local and regional authorities, and it will provide timely feedback on EU legislative efficiency. It is expected to gradually develop the function of information point for all questions related to the better regulation agenda of the EU.

A regional hub can be understood in a broader sense as any territorial authority below the member state level that implements EU policy. It can therefore include communities, departments, Länder, provinces, counties, metropolitan areas, large cities or groups of smaller ones, large local authorities or groups of smaller ones, cross-border territories such as EGTCs and Euroregions.

Who are the Hubs?

The selection of the Hubs was based on three criteria: geographical balance, political and administrative commitment, and experience in implementing EU policies. Due to an astonishing number of high quality applications, the CoR decided to extend the project and involve 20 "core" Hubs and 17 "associate" Hubs during the pilot phase in 2019-2020. Over the long-run, the aim of this pilot action is to pave the ground for a wider network, which would be operational from 2021 onwards, opening up to all EU regions willing to participate and covering all policy areas where local and regional feedback is relevant.

Members of RegHub


 

Alentejo, Portugal | Autonomous Province of Bolzano, Italy | Autonomous region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy | Brandenburg, Germany | Brittany, France | Brod-Posavina County, Croatia  |  Calabria, Italy | Catalonia, Spain | Community of Madrid, Spain | Community of Valencia, Spain | Crete, Greece | Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Croatia | Eastern Slovenia Cohesion Region, Slovenia | Flanders, Belgium |  Harguita / Ialomita, Romania  | Hauts-de-France Region, France | Helsinki-Uusimaa, Finland | Kosice Self- governing Region, Slovak Republic | Limburg (in collaboration with Province of Gelderland, Province of Zuid-Holland, Province  of Overijssel, city of Tilburg), The Netherlands | Lower Silesia, Poland | Marche, Italy |  Mazowieckie  Voivodeship, Poland | Molise, Italy | North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany | Northern and Western Region, Ireland | Piedmont, Italy | Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, Croatia | Region of Emilia-Romagna, Italy  | Šibenik-Knin County, Croatia | Silesia – TITRIA (Slovak Republic, Check Republic, Poland) | Thessaly, Greece | Tolna County, Hungary | Umbria Region / Veneto, Italy | Upper Austria, Austria | Vorarlberg (leading The International Lake Constance Conference), Austria |  West Pomeranian Voivodship, Poland | Zasavje Development Region, Slovenia.

How does it work in practice?

     

A three step approach

  1. The CoR will invite the regional hubs to a workshop in Brussels to review the latest consultation and technical implementation report, follow-up on the interinstitutional impact of the network, exchange best practices or discuss challenges, and cover the next policy area for consultation.

  2. For each of the selected EU policy fields, the network secretariat will send a questionnaire to the regional hubs with key questions which the EU institutions and the CoR consider as needing an answer during the process. The regional hubs will in turn provide a comprehensive reply to the questionnaire after having contacted and interviewed the key actors and agencies involved at implementing this EU policy local/regional level.

  3. The results of the questionnaire will be compiled by the network secretariat in a technical implementation report, which will be provided to the CoR commission in charge of the policy as well as to the other EU institutions. The report will also be published on a dedicated CoR webpage. During the pilot phase, the network will organise approximately three workshops and consultations per year to test its work method and feedback mechanism.

How did it get started? What have we done? What's next?

  1. Chaired by the first Vice-President of the European Commission (EC), Mr. Frans Timmermans, the Task force on Subsidiarity, Proportionality and "Doing Less More Efficiently" met once a month from January to July 2018 to make recommendations on how "to better apply the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality and identify policy areas where work could be re-delegated or definitely returned to EU countries". Three politicians from the CoR, Karl-Heinz Lambertz (BE/PES), Michael Schneider (DE/PPE) and François Decoster (FR/ALDE), were appointed as members of the Task Force in order to "find ways to better involve regional and local authorities in EU policy making and delivery".

  2. Following the publication of the report made by the Task Force, the CoR implemented a concrete follow-up measure drawn from the Subsidiarity Task Force recommendations: the Network of Regional Hubs (RegHub).

    "The European Committee of the Regions should implement a new pilot network of regional hubs to support reviews of policy implementation."
         
  3. Within the CoR, RegHub will be an additional platform to the Subsidiarity Monitoring Network. It will strengthen the role of the CoR and subnational authorities in the implementation and evaluation phase of EU policy making.

  4. On 14 November 2018, the CoR President, Karl-Heinz Lambertz, met with representations of EU regions in Brussels to present the new Network of Regional Hubs project (#RegHub) and discuss the selection procedure of the participating regions for the pilot phase (2019-2020) A call for applications for the pilot phase was opened from the 19 October 2018 to 30 November 2018. The project was proud to receive 53 applications involving more than 88 regions in the EU, proving that local and regional authorities are wishing to contribute to the EU decision-making process.


 

Contact:
Mr Rainer Steffens
European Committee of the Regions
Tel: +32 (0) 2282 23 77
RegHub@cor.europa.eu