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Local and regional leaders engaged for better EU laws: Anne Karjalainen and Michiel Rijsberman appointed rapporteurs on public procurement and Digital Europe programme  

The Fit for Future (F4F) Platform plenary– an evaluation tool established by the European Commission for better and less burdensome EU legislation - met on 27 January to discuss and adopt its 2023 work programme. Two opinions out of eight that were retained to be analysed in 2023 in view of the revision of the EU legislation will be drafted by CoR members Anne Karjalainen (FI/PSE) and Michiel Rijsberman (NL/Renew Europe), respectively on the review of the EU Directive 2014/24/EU of 26 February 2014 on public procurement and on the Digital Europe programme. Both topics were ranked as high priorities by the F4F platform participants and are of great relevance for local and regional authorities.

Anne Karjalainen (FI/PES), Chair of Kerava City Council and rapporteur on the said: "Most public procurement is done at the local and regional level and it will be a key policy tool on the path towards the green and digital transitions. This is why cities and regions need to be involved in the process and provide their valuable input."

Michiel Rijsberman (NL/Renew Europe), Member of the Council of the province of Flevoland and rapporteur on the Digital Europe Programme, said: "The digital transformation of Europe’s society and economy is one of the main challenges we face today, to be put in practice effectively as well as ethically and accountably. I will look at the European Commission’s 2023 evaluation of the Digital Europe programme from a practical and cohesion-orientated point of view, drawing on expertise and feedback from the network of Regional Hubs, our partners and stakeholders. The programme’s objectives, like those on Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Digital Skills, focus strongly on implementation by public administrations at all levels. This is why our input as local and regional representatives will be instrumental".

The work of the CoR rapporteurs will be supported by the CoR's Network of Regional Hubs (RegHub) . With 46 contact points across the EU, the network, which is a sub-group of the F4F platform provides feedback on implementation of EU laws on the ground. The network thus adds the local and regional perspective to EU policymaking and enlarges its evidence base.

Local and regional authorities implement 70% of EU laws. Since the creation of the Fit for Future (F4F) platform by the European Commission, the CoR has been the most actively engaged F4F Platform member. In the last two years, the CoR has delivered five opinions which were adopted by the Platform on following topics: public procurement, INSPIRE directive, patients' rights in cross-border healthcare, governments interoperability strategy and end-of-life vehicles directive.

The F4F platform is the main instrument of the Better regulation agenda of the European Commission designed to simplify and modernise EU laws to better tackle future challenges, while cutting red tape. The CoR is present in the Platform at both levels of revising and evaluating existing EU legislation. This stronger involvement in the EU law making process is the one of the achievements of the CoR work in the Task force on Subsidiarity and Proportionality. The Platform has more than 50 members (incl. representatives from the 27 Member States). The Fit for Future Platform work programme follows the priorities of the Europe Commission annual work programme.

The draft opinions will be discussed at the next F4F platform meeting on 2 June 2023.​​

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