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EU Support for Sustainable Change in Transition Societies

Opinion Number: CDR 233/2013
Rapporteur: KOBYLIŃSKI Maciej
Commission: CIVEX
Status: Adopted
Date: 11/04/2013

- shares the Commission's view that the EU should mobilise in a comprehensive, targeted and long-term response to support reform in transition countries with a view to stabilisation and the achievement of real, sustainable change and lasting democratic structures;

- points out that local and regional authorities, which have wide experience of policy development and implementation in the delivery of essential public services should play a key role in the process of sustainable change in transition societies;

- notes that the following barriers exist to the full realisation of the potential of local and regional authorities in the partner countries: lack of financial autonomy and limited fiscal scope; low level of development of local democracy, transparency and citizen participation; limited knowledge of financial aid available to local and regional authorities under EU programmes; lack of capacity for participation in the EU programmes and projects;

- emphasises the possibility created by the Committee of the Regions of support instruments for EU policy in neighbouring states, i.e. a platform for cooperation between local and regional authorities in the form of ARLEM and CORLEAP;

- recommends that participation in TAIEX programmes be extended to local and regional authorities in interested countries;

- intends to support training of LRAs from transition countries to improve local capacity building. The CoR will start a dialogue with the European Training Foundation and other interested stakeholders on this question;

- notes that the Committee is working closely with the European Commission on drawing up an atlas of decentralised cooperation and that it holds an annual conference on decentralised cooperation.
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