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Herman Van Rompuy to chair CoR High-Level group on European democracy to reinforce the regional and local dimension of the Conference on the future of Europe  

​​ The European Committee of the Regions establishes a High-Level group on democracy, which will be chaired by Herman van Rompuy, reiterating the call for the Conference on the future of Europe to be convened as soon as possible.

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) will establish the High-Level Group to support its political and institutional mission by providing strategic political analysis. Herman van Rompuy has been appointed as chairperson of the High-Level Group, which will be composed by seven "wise" men and women.

The CoR's President and Governor of the Greek Central Macedonia Region, Apostolos Tzitzikostas said: " I warmly thank Herman Van Rompuy for accepting my proposal to chair the High-Level group. His European vision and commitment will bring an inestimable added value to the CoR's work throughout the Conference on the future of Europe . We have a unique democratic system in the EU. I like to see it as the 'European House of Democracy'. Our house has strong walls – the Member states – and a protective roof – the European Union. Local and regional authorities are its foundations and its safety net. The Conference on the Future of Europe must not be just another beauty contest between EU institutions leaving us only with words, we would have wasted a historic opportunity. On the contrary we want and we must ensure that our European House of Democracy comes out of the Conference reinforced in all of its components. The creation of the High-Level group will bring a concrete contribution to this process. "

Herman Van Rompuy commented: " I thank very much the European Committee of the Regions for offering me the Chairmanship of the High-Level Group on European Democracy. Local and regional authorities can contribute to restoring confidence in democracy. In a world characterized by globalization, proximity becomes important to build more cohesion and consensus, the conference on the future of Europe must consider how to involve more regions and cities. It must send a message on how EU wants to offer a solution to people's fears and concerns, it should not suffer about institutional obsession. For me, democracy is a value in itself. It is not a mere instrument. A political democracy is much more than just holding elections however important they may be. People have to believe in the system as a value in itself. A democracy that delivers strengthens them in that belief".

Under the Chairmanship of Herman Van Rompuy - first President of the European Council and former Prime minister of Belgium, currently president of the administrative Council of the College of Europe - the High-Level group on democracy will act independently and in close contact with the CoR's Conference of Presidents during the works of the Conference on the future of Europe. Moreover, the High-Level group will be invited to contribute to the activities of the CoR’s Bureau and Plenary sessions during various political debates related to the Conference.

Background:

The Conference on the future of Europe will be a two-year-long collective exercise with the aim of making the EU more democratic, transparent, efficient and resilient. The CoR is committed to actively participate in this process strengthening the link between the Union, its citizens and the one million elected regional and local politicians across Europe. This will serve to reinforce the whole democratic foundations of the EU as well as the sense of identity and ownership of the European project for all its citizens

President's Spokesperson:

Michele Cercone

Tel. +32 (0)498 98 23 49

Michele.Cercone@cor.europa.eu


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