European Committee of the Regions to discuss how shrinking regions and cities can retain, develop and attract talent. Also on #CoRplenary agenda: Swedish Presidency priorities, gender equality, media freedom, and pesticides.
The European Committee of the Regions will on 15 March adopt a resolution on one of the major developmental challenges facing regions in the EU – the combined effects of a shrinking working-age population, a low share of graduates, and the departure of young people in search of better economic opportunities. The President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), Vasco Alves Cordeiro, will welcome Dubravka Šuica, Vice-President for Democracy and Demography of the European Commission, to discuss with regional and local leaders this 'talent trap'. In all, 82 regions, home to nearly 30% of the EU's population, are believed to be at risk of being trapped.
The resolution on 'Harnessing talent in Europe's regions' is one of two resolutions that will be adopted by the CoR at its two-day meeting. The other resolution – on strengthening social dialogue – is a response to a European Commission proposal on how EU countries can further strengthen social dialogue and collective bargaining at the national level.
The plenary session will provide the Swedish government with an opportunity to discuss priority dossiers of its six-month Presidency of the Council of the European Union and their implications for the local and regional level of government. Erik Slottner, Sweden's Minister for Public Administration, will address CoR members on 15 March. Sweden has identified security, resilience, prosperity, democratic values and the rule of law as its priorities.
Over the two days, the CoR will adopt recommendations on a range of EU dossiers with a significant impact on local communities within the EU: the threats and opportunities connected to the fast grow of short terms rentals; the European Media Freedom Act, 'smart' development of rural Europe, sustainable use of pesticides, and asbestos.
In addition, the CoR will adopt an opinion on the future of the Eastern Partnership, three of whose six members – Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia – are seeking admission to the EU. In a section of the plenary devoted to current topics of particular concern to EU regions and cities, the City of Prague will take the floor to highlight the needs of Ukrainian cities, while Kildare County will open a debate on the integration of displaced Ukrainians at local and regional level.
The plenary will be preceded – on 14 March – by a conference to mark International Women's Day. The event, entitled "From local to global: Fostering women's leadership in a changing world" will bring together local and regional leaders from the EU, Ukraine, and the Balkans. During the plenary, the Government of Valencia will introduce a debate on the fight against gender violence.
The plenary will be followed, on 16 March, by a high-level event on "Cohesion as a bridge to a united and fairer Europe", with a political debate on the challenges and opportunities facing Cohesion policy and its future, as well as a thematic sessions with experts on how to implement the 'do no harm to cohesion' principle in EU policies.
Follow the plenary on the CoR website
Wednesday, 15 March, 3.00 p.m.: Debate on harnessing talent in Europe's regions, with Dubravka Šuica, Vice-President for Democracy and Demography of the European Commission. In response to the demographic challenges of a shrinking and low-skilled work-age population in some regions, the European Commission has published a Communication on Harnessing Talent in Europe's Regions intended to provide a fresh impetus for reskilling and upskilling. The communication contributes to the European Year of Skills.
Wednesday, 15 March, 4.00 p.m.: Debate on the priorities of the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, with Erik Slottner, Sweden's Minister for Public Administration.
Wednesday, 15 March, 18.30 p.m.: EU Local matters debates on:
- current situation and needs in Ukrainian cities, with Zdeněk Hřib (CZ/Greens)
- encouraging integration at local and regional level, with Aoife Breslin (IE/PES)
- fighting against gender violence, with Joan Calabuig Rull (ES/PES).
RESOLUTIONS FOR ADOPTION
OPINIONS FOR ADOPTION
- "Balancing local communities', entrepreneurs' and travellers' needs linked to short-term rentals." Rapporteur: Roberto Ciambetti (IT/ECR), president and member of the Veneto Regional Council
- "The Future of the Eastern Partnership from a local and regional perspective." Rapporteur: Alin-Adrian Nica (RO/EPP), president of Timis County Council.
- "Targets and tools for a Smart Rural Europe." Rapporteur: Radim Sršeň (CZ/EPP), mayor of Dolní Studénky Council.
- "Sustainable use of pesticides." Rapporteur: Heinz-Joachim Höfer (DE/PES), member of the Municipal Council of Altenkirchen (Westerwald).
- "Amending the Directive on Asbestos." Rapporteur-general: Hanna Zdanowska (PL/EPP), mayor of Łódź.
- "European Media Freedom Act." Rapporteur: Mark Speich (DE/EPP), secretary of state for federal, European and international affairs, North Rhine-Westphalia.
Location: József Antall (JAN) building, Solidarność 1980 Esplanade, European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium.
Date: Wednesday, 15 March – Thursday, 16 March 2023.
Background material: The plenary agenda and opinions and amendments.
Webstreaming: On the website of the CoR.