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Better EU legislation: CoR launches Regional hubs 2.0 to monitor how EU policies work on the ground  

​​​In the aftermath of Covid crisis, citizens expect the EU to provide effective answers: the European Committee of the Regions' Regional hubs 2.0 project helps assessing how EU delivers via a renewed network gathering 46 members, 10 observers and 1 associated body

The European Committee of the Regions launched today a new generation of Regional Hubs to monitor EU legislation on the ground and make sure the voice of hundreds of regional and local stakeholders is taken into account in EU policy evaluation. The new hubs include 46 members, 10 observers and 1 associated body and are established as a sub-group of the European Commission's Fit For Future Platform (F4F). The launch was also attended by European Commission’s Vice-President for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight Maroš Šefčovič . It follows a pilot phase that proved the effectiveness of the RegHubs in monitoring the implementation of legislation in five EU policies and communicating their findings via the CoR back to the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council.

Apostolos Tzitzikostas, President of the European Committee of the Regions, said: "I warmly welcome the new generation of Regional Hubs. RegHub's contact points have proven to be uniquely efficient in bridging the consultation gap between Brussels and our regions. They get feedback directly from those who experience every day the impact of EU policies on people's lives and they can offer to the European Commission invaluable information and input on how to increase their effectiveness. For example, thanks to our contact points, the Commission will be able to enrich its evaluation of the cross-border healthcare Directives by learning about the experience of regional hospitals' staff from Eastern Slovenia to Alentejo."

European Commission’s Vice-President for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight Maroš Šefčovič who opened the launch event said: "I am delighted to welcome RegHub 2.0 into the new Fit For Future platform, designed to simplify and modernise EU laws, while cutting red tape. Regional and local authorities will play a key role, given their unique perspective of those most directly affected. Their input on issues relating to the planning and permitting of 21st century infrastructure will be of particular importance. As we seek to kick-start Europe’s economy by investing into green, digital but also medical infrastructure, this can have a real impact on the ground."

Michael Murphy (IE/EPP), Member of Tipperary County Council and Chair of the CoR commission for Economic Policy ECON, said: "Since its creation two years ago, RegHub has been managed by the ECON commission which I am chairing. I am more than pleased to see the launch of RegHub 2.0 and what the network has achieved so far. Today's discussions confirm that better regulation and evidence based policy making should not just be buzz words from the Brussels bubble. They should be at the heart of Europe's rules and take into account our cities' and regions' experience. I am glad to be able to contribute to this effort and I look forward to the work ahead in the coming months to help in achieving this goal."

Mark Speich (DE/EPP), Secretary of State for Federal, European and International Affairs for the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia – one of the participating regions in the RegHub 2.0 network - and chair of CoR commission on Citizenship, Governance, Institutional and External Affairs (CIVEX) stated: "The consultations of the RegHub Network provide citizens, companies, especially SMEs and public services with the opportunity to bring in their experiences with the implementation of EU legislation. This also means that the Network gives a stronger voice to citizens and economic actors at EU level. Now, the RegHub Network is given formal recognition as part of the Fit for Future Platform of the European Commission. As a consequence not only the RegHub network but all citizens and economic actors will have more direct influence and impact on European legislation. At the same time, the RegHub consultations will strengthen and enlarge the evidence base of the Platform's opinions.”

The work programme of the new generation of RegHub 2.0 and its areas of expertise will be identified subsequent to the F4F platform plenary that will take place on 4 March and will identify the EU policies to be investigated.


​​Background:

- About the " Network of Regional Hubs" (RegHub): 70 % of EU legislation is implemented at local and regional level. As a result, local and regional authorities have valuable first-hand experience in applying EU legislation, in close contact with local businesses, social partners, civil society and citizens. Through its opinions, the CoR formally shares the position of local and regional authorities on EU legislative proposals. There is nevertheless a need to make use of the knowledge of local and regional authorities at an earlier stage of the EU legislative process and benefit from their experiences in the implementation of EU legislation. RegHub fulfils this need by collecting such technical 'on the ground' knowledge and forwarding it to the European Commission and the two legislators, in order to inform their reviews, evaluations and fitness checks. As the institutional voice of regions and cities in the EU, the CoR is uniquely placed to collate the contributions of all local and regional authorities for that purpose. This is why the CoR set up in 2019 a pilot project consisting of a regional network for EU policy implementation review. The initiative was taken up as one of the recommendations by the Subsidiarity Task Force established by the European Commission's then President during the first half of 2018. The network consists of dedicated 'contact points' who are members of staff of a local or regional administration who collect technical feedback from stakeholders about their 'on the ground' implementation experience of existing EU policies. The network thus adds the local and regional perspective to EU policymaking and enlarges its evidence base.

​​- About the Fit For Future Platform (F4F): The European Commission will take into account the Platform’s opinions to ensure EU laws help - not hinder - people and business, and in particular small and medium-sized enterprises. The work of the Platform will focus on topics highlighted in an annual work programme. For each topic, the Platform will gather evidence from a variety of public and private stakeholders on potential for simplifying and reducing unnecessary costs of specific EU laws without undermining the achievement of their objectives. The Platform will then issue opinions taking into account digitalisation opportunities and legislative density. These efforts are part of Better Regulation agenda of the European Commission. The European Committee of the Regions is part of the Government group of the Platform with three of its six CoR commission chairs alongside with 27 government representatives from EU Member States.


Contact:
Marie-Pierre Jouglain
Mobile: +32 (0)473 52 41 15
mariepierre.jouglain@cor.europa.eu


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