Oviedo, the capital of the Spanish region of Asturias, hosted the 20 th anniversary of the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies ( CALRE ) on 24 and 25 July. The President of the European Committee of the Regions, Karl-Heinz Lambertz, offered his support to CALRE's declaration calling for EU regions to play a central role within the European integration project.
'Europe's future lies in its regions and the Oviedo Declaration, which 20 years ago called for the greater involvement of regions in the European integration, is more pertinent today than ever before.'Karl-Heinz Lambertz, the newly appointed President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), said to the representatives of 18 regional parliaments from across the EU.
The President of CALRE and President of the Parliament of Andalusia Juan Pablo Durán recalled the commitment of CALRE 'to continue working in a coordinated manner with the European Parliament, the European Commission, the European Council and the European Committee of the Regions to consolidate key elements such as the principle of subsidiarity and inter-parliamentary cooperation'. President Durán stressed that "the co-participation of regional legislative powers increases the operationality and diligence of European directives and allows for a more effective implementation of European legislation.'
The 20th Anniversary declaration of CALRE was read by the President of the General Assembly of Asturias Pedro Sanjurjo. The declaration stresses the need for Europe to 'go beyond an economic union and include a social dimension' and positions itself as a 'direct bridge between the citizens and the EU institutions' as 'territories must be at the centre of European politics'.
During the seminar on the 'Role for the Regions in a Europe in Transition', President Lambertz also reiterated the commitment of the CoR to contribute to the on-going reflection on the future of Europe as 'the position of regional parliaments is crucial, and I call on every one of you could join the process by holding debates in your Parliament, contributing to our report to be submitted to the European Council next year'.
In a clear sign of reinforced cooperation between CALRE and the European Committee of the Regions, President Lambertz, will also attend CALRE's plenary assembly in Sevilla next November.