On 2 February the Secretary General awarded the two CoR colleagues who spoke to the most groups of visitors in 2017, Matthieu Hornung from the Political Groups side and Wolfgang Petzold from the administration side.
On this occasion Mr Burianek also presented the 2018 political priorities of the CoR and the new perspectives for the visits. He highlighted the important role the CoR in the overall debate on the future of Europe: in its active contribution to the run-up of the European Parliament elections, with its "Reflecting on EU" campaign - so far 140 citizens dialogues organised by 130 CoR members and the App collected more than 13000 responses to the online survey - and an opinion on the contribution of local and regional authorities to the debate due to be adopted in October 2018 and transmitted to the European Council; with the Cohesion Alliance for which the CoR is seen as a key actor advocating for a strong cohesion policy in Europe after 2020. Last but not least, the CoR is represented by a delegation lead by President Karl-Heinz Lambertz in the Task Force on Subsidiarity, Proportionality and "Doing Less, More Efficiently" which was set up by the European Commission to reflect about the involvement of local and regional authorities in EU policy making and debate on re-nationalisation of EU competences.
More than 30 colleagues attended the annual public speakers' awards reception. The speakers colleagues speak to visitors on top of their work. In 2017, 502 visitors' groups and almost 13,500 people were welcomed in the European Committee of the Regions, 15% more than in 2016.