Apostolos Tzitzikostas (EL/EPP)
, President of the European Committee of the Regions, said: "
We all know that our Union is diverse. Some Member States are more
centralised, whilst others regions hold legislative powers. But every
region, regardless of their power, has a crucial impact on the national
and European level. Regional and local authorities implement 70% of all
EU legislation and represent one-third of public spending and half of
public investments. Therefore, we cannot accept forever that others
will make decisions on our behalf. Our regional and local legal
responsibilities and democratic mandate must be fully taken into
account at European and national level. It is time to end this
democratic and legal gap. The Declaration we are adopting intends to
launch a political Alliance of Regions for European Democracy. Its
purpose is to improve the way regions impact EU decision making, for
the benefit of our Union and the citizens it serves."
Gustavo A. Matos Expósito (ES/PES),
President of the Parliament of the Canary Islands and President of the
Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies added: "
The regional parliaments and legislative assemblies of the EU represent
the citizens of their regions, through their elected representatives,
therefore they are fundamental tools to achieve the involvement of
citizens in the process of redefining the EU in the CoFE."
José Manuel Bolieiro (PT/EPP),
President of the Autonomous Region Azores, who hosted the event, commented:
"It is our duty to promote an alliance. An alliance between all
European regions, regardless of their competences within their Member
States. An alliance where each of our regions finds its place and every
region can count on the support of the other regions."
Vasco Ilídio Alves Cordeiro (PT/PES),
1st Vice President of the European Committee of the Regions and Member of
the Regional Parliament of Azores concluded the event: "
This declaration is the founding document of an Alliance of Regions for
European democracy. Our mobilisation is crucial for the Conference on
the Future of Europe, as local and regional authorities represent the
third pillar of European democracy. We need to reinforce their
political role for the implementation but also for the definition of
all policies that are relevant to our communities."
"The place of regions in the European Union architecture in the context
of the Conference on the Future of Europe" can be endorsed
Quotes from other speakers at the event:
- Mark Speich (DE/EPP), CoR CIVEX Chair and Secretary of
State for Federal, European and International Affairs in North
"Regions know better about the implementation of EU law than the
national level. They are also closer to EU citizens and enterprises.
Strengthening their position in the institutional structure of the EU
could attribute to a better EU decision-making, and at the end to a
better EU legislation.”
- Concepción Andreu Rodríguez (ES/PES); President of the
Regional Government of La Rioja: "
The participation of regional administrations in European affairs
should be included in the national and regional legal systems. La Rioja
is reforming its Autonomy Statute and one of the proposals is the
regional participation in the European legislative process."
- Rachid Madrane (BE/PES), President of the Parliament of
the Brussels-Capital Region:
"The regions are at the forefront of European democracy. They are often
the laboratory for new practices that aim to « facilitate » democracy -
I am thinking in particular of innovations in participatory democracy,
such as deliberative commissions. Discussions about their place in the
European architecture are therefore very important and the Brussels
Parliament will actively participate in them."
- Ilse Aigner (DE/EPP), President of the State Parliament of
"In the future, the regions and their political leaders must be given
sufficient degree of flexibility in Europe. Because there is only
citizens' support for the European idea if citizens are more involved -
the regional parliaments as the people’s representation have in this
context a central role to play as legislators and as mediators of
- Massimiliano Fedriga (IT/ECR), President of the
Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region and President of the Conference of the Regions
and Autonomous Provinces: "
Citizens look at their daily life and judge institutions and politics
based on the quality of life, the availability of public services and
the care of public goods that are provided to them, as well as on the
wellness and the safety of the environment where they live. Therefore,
we need concrete measures which should be built in the medium-long term
to be financially sustainable."
- Antje Grotheer (DE/PES), CoR CIVEX Member and Vice-President of Bremen City Parliament: "As those closest to the people in Europe, we in the regions know exactly what the inhabitants of Europe need. It is therefore important that our opinion is heard, our challenges seen and our solutions recognized in the EU."
- Leendert Verbeek (NL/PES), King's Commissioner of
Flevoland and President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
of the Council of Europe:
“The region plays a unique role as a bridge between the European and
national levels and local communities and citizens. Regions have the
primary responsibility for ensuring territorial cohesion, social
protection of citizens and their participation in democratic
governance. This special role of regions must be strengthened further
through their greater involvement in national and European policy
- Olgierd Geblewicz (PL/EPP), President of West Pomerania
Region and President of the Association of Polish Regions:
"The Conference on the Future of Europe is a window of opportunity to
demonstrate the relevance of the regional level. It is mainly about two
things – first providing input for policies which are more citizen and
needs-based. Second, providing more democratic legitimacy in EU's
structures. I think we as regional leaders fit both purposes
excellently. Because of the variety of competences that our regions
have we can deliver ideas for policies which are both needs-based and
comply with the realities of implementation."
- Alin-Adrian Nica (RO/EPP), President of Timiş County
"The Conference on the Future of Europe is a historic chance for all
our European territories to build the democratic house we want to live
in. It is the chance for authorities and citizens to work together and
generate a rethinking and revival of European policies to fit our
- Juraj Droba (SK/ECR), President of the Bratislava
"I am convinced that regions should become stronger partners of the EU
institutions, especially when it comes to the preparation of the new
programming period and EU Recovery Plan. Conference on the Future of
Europe is an excellent opportunity for cities and regions to raise
their voices and to call for strengthening of their role in EU
Watch the conference
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