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Feedback from local and regional authorities is crucial for better EU laws  

The Fit for Future Platform plenary approved two opinions by CoR rapporteurs Karjalainen and Speich on topics of particular importance for local and regional authorities: interoperability of data systems between different levels of governance and clear rules for end-of-life vehicles.

Local and regional authorities make EU law happen. Therefore their feedback on how EU rules are implemented on the ground to make them simpler, fewer and less bureaucratic is essential: this was the message of the CoR at the Fit for Future (F4F) Platform plenary on 5 December – a tool established by the European Commission for better and less burdensome EU legislation. Two opinions drafted by CoR members Mark Speich (DE/EPP) and Anne Karjalainen (FI/PSE) on topics that are of great relevance for local and regional authorities – interoperability of data systems and clear rules for end-of-life vehicles - were adopted.

Local and regional authorities implement 70% of EU laws and since the creation of the Fit for Future (F4F) platform by the European Commission, the CoR has continuously strengthened its contribution to shaping better laws in the European Union.

Karl-Heinz Lambertz (BE/PES), Chair of the CoR Better Regulation and Active Subsidiarity Steering Group, who represented the CoR at the F4F platform plenary meeting stated: "The Fit for Future (F4F) platform and the EU's better regulation strategy are not easy to sell to the wider public. They represent demanding, technical and sometimes ungrateful backstage work in the EU's legislative machinery room. Nonetheless, by providing 20% of the F4F's output, mobilising its local and regional networks and in particular its RegHub network, the European Committee of the Regions has proven and will continue to be a key partner for ensuring better EU regulation in partnership with all levels of governance - European, national, regional and local – and for guaranteeing that active subsidiarity is applied to European legislation throughout its full life-cycle."

The opinion on the Revision of the end-of-life vehicles directive and the directive on the type-approval of motor vehicles from Mark Speich (DE/EPP), Secretary of State for European and International Affairs and Media for the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia, was adopted at the F4F plenary. It suggests to merge two laws in one in order to cover the whole life-cycle of the automotive sector instead as well as to use one single online tool for registration of vehicles that would reduce administrative burden for local and regional authorities that use these tools on a daily basis. Mark Speich commented: “With the establishment of the Fit for Future platform, the European Commission has taken an important step towards reducing bureaucracy and simplifying EU legislation. I am pleased that my opinion on the EU End-of-Life Vehicles Directive was adopted in the plenary session of the platform and that the CoR was thus able to play its part in this endeavor. It is very important that the perspective and expertise of European regions and cities on the implementation of EU legislation remains central to the work of this platform. I am looking forward to continuing this work.”

The other opinion adopted in the F4F plenary was drafted by Anne Karjalainen (FI/PSE), Kerava City Councillor on the Governments Interoperability Strategy, which aims at setting up interoperable digital public services at local, national and EU level to ensure better cross-border coordination. Mr Karjalainen commented: "I strongly believe that interoperability is an inextricable part of efforts to modernise public administrations. Local and regional authorities, which are closest to citizens in terms of interaction with public authorities, should be properly involved in the interoperability governance in order to optimise the provision of efficient and effective public services and to lift barriers to the much-needed cross-border, cross-domain data flows and the sharing and reuse of digital solutions."

On behalf of the CoR, Karl-Heinz Lambertz suggested three EU laws to be scrutinized for the 2023 F4F Platform work programme: The Working Time Directive, the Public Passenger Transport Services Regulation and the Digital Europe Programme.


The CoR is the most actively engaged F4F Platform member. In the last two years, the CoR has delivered five opinions which were adopted by the Platform on following topics: public procurement, INSPIRE directive, patients' rights in cross-border healthcare, governments interoperability strategy and end-of-life vehicles directive. The F4F opinions can be found on the F4F Platform website .

The CoR Better Regulation and Active Subsidiarity Steering Group - BRASS-G coordinates the CoR contribution to improve the quality of EU legislation by making EU laws simple, efficient, evidence-based, future-proof and inclusive. It was launched on 11 November at the Subsidiarity Conference in Valencia.

The CoR's Network of Regional Hubs (RegHub) with 46 contact points across the EU is a sub-group of the F4F platform. The network provides feedback on implementation of EU laws on the ground in line with the work programme of the platform. The network thus adds the local and regional perspective to EU policymaking and enlarges its evidence base.

The F4F platform is the main instrument of the Better regulation agenda of the European Commission designed to simplify and modernise EU laws to better tackle future challenges, while cutting red tape. The CoR is present in the Platform at both levels of revising and evaluating existing EU legislation. It therefore represents not only the local and regional authorities but also citizens and businesses which implement EU law on daily basis. This stronger involvement in the EU law making process is the one of the achievements of the CoR work in the Task force on Subsidiarity and Proportionality. The Platform has more than 50 members (incl. representatives from the 27 Member States). The Fit for Future Platform work programme follows the priorities of the Europe Commission annual work programme.​

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