Statement of the CoR-UK Contact Group on the Windsor Framework
EU members of the European Committee of the Regions' UK Contact Group met on 29 March to discuss recent developments regarding EU-UK relations and to attend a ceremony in the European Parliament marking the 25 years of the Good Friday Agreement, which brought an end to the conflict in Northern Ireland. Representatives from the EU's regions and municipalities in the contact group adopted the following statement on the recently signed Windsor Framework, which seeks to improve the trading rules for Northern Ireland and includes the Stormont Brake mechanism allowing the Northern Ireland assembly a say on EU rules that apply in Northern Ireland.
The Members of the CoR UK Contact Group welcome the Windsor Framework, and hope that it will lead to a breakthrough that gradually allows both the EU and the UK, and their constituent regional and local authorities, to focus on the real issues of mutually beneficial and pragmatic cooperation such as in the fields of research cooperation, developing contacts at subnational level to address common environmental challenges such as climate mitigation and adaptation measures, to support refugees from Ukraine and to promote educational exchanges.
The members of the Contact Group take note of the Stormont Brake arrangements, and welcome that the elected representatives of Northern Ireland have a direct say over the future of their region. In line with the CoR's strong political commitment to a place-based approach and the application of active subsidiarity, the CoR recalls that local and regional authorities must be involved in key decisions affecting their territories, and are the best placed to do so in the interest of their regions. The Contact Group members highlight the CoR's 'active subsidiarity approach' which focuses on constructive cooperation between all levels of government, and hopes that the provisions of the recently reached agreement and approvals of same, will be used in this way, to the benefit of citizens of the UK and the EU.
The European Committee of the Regions has established a contact group for relations with representatives of UK local government and devolved administrations to ensure that political dialogue with these representatives continues after the UK's withdrawal from the EU.
The CoR-UK Contact Group has 12 full members and one observer from the CoR and is currently chaired by Loïg Chesnais-Girard (FR/PES), President of Brittany Regional Council. The UK representatives at meetings of the CoR-UK Contact Group are selected according to agreements between local government bodies and the UK's devolved parliaments, assemblies and governments.