Page 1

January 2014 The activity report of the EPP Group in the Committee of the Regions

Message from the President


Greek Presidency of the EU

Members on the field

2-3 Athens Summit

3 Cohesion policy 2014-2020

4 Structural and investment funds: What path for the CoR in the EU of the future?

5 A focus on the Mediterranean

6 Elections 2014 and EPP Congress

On 1 January, Greece assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The next six months

will be a major turning point, not only for Greece itself as it emerges from a crisis that has exacted many hard sacrifices from the Greek people, but also for the Union as a whole, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Venizelos. Yannis Michelakis, Minister of Interior on the programme of the Hellenic Presidency will address the Plenary Session to outline the programme in more detail. Speaking to the rEPPorter last month, he said:

“The Ministry of Interior, supporting the respect for the principle of multi level governance and the principle of subsidiarity, promotes the active participation of local authorities in the drafting and implementation of community policies… In particular, the contribution of local and regional authorities in the implementation of employment policies and especially in the sector of youth unemployment will be in the focus of the Hellenic presidency.”

7 Plenary Highlights

8 EPP-led opinions

8-10 Rules of Procedure

10 EPP Study Visit Ongoing Opinions

Latvia became the 18th member of the Eurozone on 1 January thanks to the remarkable work of former Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, who undertook deep, and often difficult, economic reforms. Successful management of the transition to the

euro depends on everyone involved in this process and both the state and its municipalities have an essential role to play. Read the experiences of Ligita Gintere, Chairman of Jaunpils municipality council, on page 3

The role of the EPP in the EU of the future @EPP_CoR

Now, you can follow us on


Latvia joins the Euro, but with what impact for municipalities?

“When we consider the future of the CoR, there are two main topics: internal changes that we can decide amongst ourselves and those which need cooperation from the other institutions and possibly even Treaty changes. We must not be afraid of either of these dimensions because the CoR has proven its

worth during the past twenty years and our citizens need us to move with the times.” Michael Schneider, President of the EPP Group in the CoR Read more on page 5

Message from the President 2014 is going to be a crucial year for the regions, cities and municipalities of Europe. The launch of the new EU multiannual budget and political campaign ahead of the European elections will provide an

impetus for a debate on the future of Europe’s integration model. As members of the EPP Group in the CoR, we should be focused on monitoring and assessing the implementation of the new innovative EU programmes, launched in the framework of the new financial perspective. We will need to react quickly to address any burning issues in that respect. We will also need to make sure that new regulations and budget allocations are not only be secured and delivered on time, but also that they are not hampered by red tape. Following years of austerity, Europe deserves to observe growth and new jobs being created, especially for youth. European regional policy successes should also positively fuel the political campaign ahead of the upcoming elections to the European Parliament. Our Group is

planning to be actively involved in sharing our on-the-field success stories showcasing how EU policies bring positive change to Europe in practice. I hope these events will enable us to contribute to debates on the future of Europe. I’m looking forward to the 6th Summit of Europe’s Regions and Cities in Athens. The event, scheduled for 8 March 2014, should give us a chance to reflect on further cooperation of European regions and municipalities. Marking the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Committee of the Regions, we will continue the debate that we started at the extraordinary Group meeting last December on how to progress in the CoR in the future and to secure partnerships, which will bring even more effective results for our regions and for Europe.

Members on the field The CoR and German Bundesrat: respecting subsidiarity together

“As the EU faces one of the gravest crises in its history, the return of subsidiarity could be an opportunity to help secure better EU legislation.” This was the message of Ramón Luis Valcárcel, at the 6th Subsidiarity Conference, co-organised with the German Bundesrat in Berlin on 18 December. “Subsidiarity will remain a dead letter if all the stakeholders involved act independently... Together, we can constructively put subsidiarity at the centre of the debate for better governance in Europe with collaborative thinking that benefits people on the ground.” President of the EPP Group, Michael Schneider, who is also chair of the CoR Subsidiarity Monitoring Network,said: “We are seeking to foster shared responsibility among institutions to ensure the correct application of the


subsidiarity and proportionality principles so as to put in place a truly Europe-wide subsidiarity culture.”

In preparation for his opinion, Spyros Spyridon participated in a workshop on the implementation of the new EU forest strategy organised by the Advisory Group on Forestry and Cork in Brussels on 16th December.

Ramòn Luis Valcarcel Siso and Michel Lebrun addressed an international seminar in Murcia, on December 3, 2013, respectively opening the event and speaking

on “The future of the European Union: main challenges for the regions”. Looking ahead to the CoR’s 20th anniversary, the seminar was organised by the Spanish Federal Council of the European Movement (Movimiento del Consejo Federal Español Europeo) to show essential role of the CoR as a representative of local and regional interests in Europe and more specifically as an engine of integration

Optimising EU Funds to get out of the crisis

Cooperation between the EPP Groups in the Committee of the Regions and the European Parliament on the new structural funds at the EPP Group in the European Parliament’s Bureau meeting in Krakov on the 20-21 Fenruary. Ramòn Luis Valcarcel Siso and Marek Sowa, Marshal of the Malopolska Region, will join MEPs for debates on how regional funds can help the EU escape from the ongoing financial crisis and the EU’s energy policy.

Fact finding mission to Kiev

© 2013 Cecilia Clark

“With the current turmoil and mass protests, more than ever Ukrainian civil society needs the support of the European Union. We need to keep all channels of dialogue open at all levels of government, encouraging Ukraine’s

Welcome to the euro area Latvia! By Ligita Gintere, Chairman of Jaunpils municipality council

On 1 January Latvians not only welcomed the New Year with new expectations and hopes, but also a new currency. At exactly midnight Latvia became the 18th country to join the

government to achieve its declared objective of European integration and reiterating that the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement is still possible” stated Ramòn Luis Valcarcel Siso following recent legislation which restricts Ukrainian citizens’ fundamental rights. It was within this context that the CoR President led a cross-party delegation in a fact-finding visit to Kiev on 22-23 January 2014. Arnoldas Abramavicius participated the EU mission to Ukraine, Ambassadors and Ukrainian CORLEAP members on behalf of the EPP Group and highlighted the meeting with and Evgeniya Tymoshenko. The EPP Group met with Yulia Tymoshenko’s daughter, Evgeniya,

during a meeting in Brussels in December 2011. It also underlined its commitment to the development of local and regional democracy in the Ukraine at that stage and is following recent developments with concern.

single currency – the euro. While the main celebrations took place in the capital of Latvia, Riga, with the Prime Minister of Latvia withdrawing symbolically the first 10 euro note, the inhabitants of Jaunpils municipality also gathered in the municipality’s Central Square to say good-bye to the national currency –the lat. As Jaunpils municipality is quite small with nearly 3000 inhabitants, we have not encountered big problems with the transition to the new currency, but this is thanks to the timely preparations from the national and municipal level, which began a year before. In February 2013, the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments in cooperation with the Euro Bureau of the Ministry of Finance started a series of thematic discussions on the issues regarding the transition to the euro.

Representatives of municipalities had both the possibility to participate in the discussions, as well as to watch it on-line in the home page of the Association. Each of the discussions was devoted to a specific theme to help the specialists of municipalities to prepare properly, covering such topics as the necessary changes in the municipal regulations, requirements for the accountancy documents, re-programming of cash-registers, changes in taxes and social benefits managed by municipalities. Though many people in Jaunpils municipality admit that the Latvian lat had nicer design, the practical benefits of the euro have already been appreciated by local entrepreneurs. They hope that the accession to the euro area will save money, which they were previously loosing on converting lats to euros. These savings will go towards investments!

before the EPP will elect its candidate for Presidency of the European Commission. This Summit is also on the eve of the Spring European Council and a few months ahead of the elections to the European

Parliament. The objective of the Summit is to take stock of the efforts made at European, national, regional and local level to deliver job-rich recovery.



Athens Summit


The Committee of the Regions will hold the 6th European Summit of Regions and Cities in Athens on 7 and 8 March 2014. This is a key political moment for the future of Europe, not least because one day

The activity report of the EPP Group in the Committee of the Regions


Cohesion policy 2014-2020 - From programming to implementation and the main challenges ahead A joint REGI-COTER debate

“The structural funds legislation provides the necessary financing and framework to implement an effective and efficient structural investment policy. The next step is to fully develop the structural investment policy’s potential through the Partnership Agreements that should be signed as soon as possible” Danuta Hübner, chair of the EP REGI Committee “One of the main results of the joint work done by the CoR together with the EP is the fact that the new legislative package on structural and investment funds substantially strengthens the principles of partnership and multi-level governance. However, more must still be done. Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI) and Community-Lead Local Development (CLLD) will be very important for the implementation of cohesion policy, but we will have to approach it in a creative way. In Poland, for example, ITI is proposed for regional capitals and metropolitan regions, but we also need to find ways to support smaller municipal centres.” Marek Wozniak, Marshal of the Wielkopolska region and chair of the CoR COTER Commission During the sessions, EPP members of the CoR and the European Parliament debated extensively: Michel Lebrun shared experiences from his region of Wallonia (Belgium), which is looking to develop priorities and objectives and solutions to meet these objectives. He also proposed that more could be done jointly by REGI and COTER in the future, for instance monitoring the implementation of the new cohesion policy and making the tangible impact of the EU investments more visible.


Ivan Zagar commented on the importance of the process when reaching consensus on objectives adding that partnerships are crucial. He noted that despite a promising start, some national governments are practically ignoring the local and regional authorities in the elaboration of their partnership agreements. “I note with regret that the partnership principle in the preparation of the programming documents in Slovenia is not respected in the proper way”. Nikola Dobroslavic also noted that regional and local bodies were not involved enough in the implementation of the policy in Croatia. Jesus Gamallo Aller called for more simplification and decentralisation in the implementation of the new cohesion policy and a separation in the planning of funds to allow for more flexibility to achieve results.

Luc Van den Brande noted that the lack of a coherent link between cohesion policy and the Europe 2020 strategy adding that this is “a major flaw”. “Now is the time to find ways to facilitate absorption and to increase the capacity building of public administrations dealing with the Structural and Investment Funds.” Michael Schneider, President of the EPP Group.

Structural and investment funds: Commission boosts partners’ role in planning and spending Partnership On January 7th, the European Commission adopted the European code of conduct on partnership in the framework of the European Structural and Investment Funds: a common set of standards to improve consultation, participation and dialogue with partners during the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds. According to the regulation, “Partnership must be seen in

close connection with a multi-level governance approach and the subsidiarity and proportionality principles: each level of government should play its role, and action should be taken at the right level and be proportionate to the objectives.” The EPP Group welcomes this decision, which supports its many requests for stronger partnership and multilevel governance in the EU.

What path for the CoR in the EU of the future?

The economic crisis has prompted one of the most intense debates about the future of the European Union. Citizens are calling for a stronger response and a greater say in the decisions being made by their political representatives. The EPP Group in the CoR held a first discussion on the role that can be played by local and regional authorities on 10th December, during an extraordinary Group meeting in Brussels. Addressing the CoR’s achievements ahead of its 20th anniversary, Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, President of the CoR, welcomed its transformation into a real political assembly. “It is thanks to this Institution’s political drive that, today, regions and cities have the appropriate

legal framework in place to better ensure that EU decisions are taken at the closest level to citizens” he said. Luc Van den Brande, EPP Group Vice President, insisted that the CoR should be involved in the design of EU policy from the start and not only when asked to produce an opinion. Other speakers included Žiga Turk, former Secretary-General of the Reflection Group on the Future of Europe, who stressed that regions and cities are uniquely positioned to promote growth and predicted that competition between regions and cities will lead to further growth in the future, Olivier Dandoy, Member of the cabinet of José Manuel Barroso, echoed this sentiment: “The CoR is the bridge between

citizens and the policy-makers in Brussels” and Rudolf Hrbek, Professor at the University of Tübingen, who stressed the importance of CoR members having a political mandate: “In each institution everything depends on people… the CoR needs to find ways and means to personalise its work in Brussels and members should allocate more time and effort to strengthening the CoR’s political activities.” He also made a plea for the “Europeanization” of regions and cities. Kris Peeters, Minister President, Flanders Region, stated that “Tomorrow’s Europe must be Europe of regions” and called on the CoR members to adopt a more pro-active approach towards the European institutions.

The activity report of the EPP Group in the Committee of the Regions


A focus on the Mediterranean

With its sprawling coastlines and numerous coastal communities, it is no surprise that maritime policy is one of the four thematic priorities for the Greek presidency. But relations with the Mediterranean’s neighbours is nothing new for the Committee of the Regions. In the

immediate aftermath of the establishment of the Union for the Mediterranean at the July 2008 Paris Summit, the Committee of the Regions submitted a proposal to the Heads of State and Government for the creation of a territorial dimension to the partnership. On it’s

fourth anniversary, mayors of major cities and representatives of regions from the European Union and the Mediterranean partner countries are committed to support the current processes of decentralisation, in particular by anchoring them in ongoing constitutional processes. But they will also go going beyond existing traditional diplomatic relations by launching a concrete project aimed at institutional cacacity building in support of regional and local public administration in the sectoral priority area of urban development cooperation programmes on issues such as de-pollution of the Mediterranean; maritime and land highways; civil protection; alternative energies; higher education and research, Euro-Mediterranean university; the Mediterranean business development initiative. The 5th plenary session of ARLEM will take place on 24 February in Tangiers, Morocco.

A ARLEM (the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly) is a permanent, joint aassembly, bringing together political representatives of local and regional authorities from tthe three shores of the Mediterranean. This assembly is designed to provide an institutional fframework to bring together CoR members and representatives of European associations iinvolved in Euro-Mediterranean cooperation with their counterparts on issues of common iinterest.

The Mediterranean Solar Plan ARLEM welcomes the efforts to achieve the Mediterranean Solar Plan (MSP), but would have hoped for a more bottom-up approach. Indeed, local and regional authorities are critical to the success of this plan. In my report for ARLEM last year, I emphasised three main points which are just as relevant today:

Michel Lebrun speaking at the Ministerial meeting of the Union for the Mediterranean conference on energy on 11 December.

1. The principle of multi-level governance is essential in the production of renewable energy 2. These policies must be affordable for local and regional authorities. 3. The Mediterranean Solar Plan requires a considerable effort to increase the capacity of interconnections between the northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean.

A Macro-regional strategy for the Mediterranean “These strategies blaze a trail by applying new approaches to cooperation and driving European integration forward.” Pauliina Haijanen, CoR rapporteur on the evaluation of macro-regional strategies. In order to lead the debate on the adoption of a macro-regional approach and the emergence of a cohesion policy for the Euromed zone, ARLEM has this year worked on


a report which calls for the creation and implementation of three macro-regions in the region. Building on the experience gained in the macro-regional strategies for the Baltic Sea Region and the Danube Region, and following a request from the European Council, the European Commission and the participating countries are now proceeding to draw up a first EU Strategy for the

Adriatic and Ionian Region. The strategy will cover eight countries: four EU Member States (Croatia, Greece, Italy, Slovenia) and four non-EU countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia). A Stakeholder Conference will take place under the Hellenic Presidency of the Council of the European Union in Athens, Greece, on 6-7 February.

Abruzzo believes Adriatic Ionian Macroregion should focus on limited number of pillars and cross-cutting issues The Abruzzo regional government believes that the proposed actions and projects for the Adriatic Ionian Macroregion have to being a positive impact to citizens, enterprises, and the environment. In this light, they place the emphasis on green energy and shared environmental governance, which are key-issues for the future of this region. The POWERED (offshore wind) and SPEEDY (environmental and integrated assessments) projects can play a crucial role in demonstrating how countries, districts and regions can join forces in an effective way for energy, environmental and sustainable development. Moreover, Abruzzo wants to make its territory stronger, more competitive and attractive by extending the Baltic Adriatic Corridor to the South of the A.I. Region, in order to include the whole Adriatic ridge. In fact, in their view, the completation of the dorsal Marche-Abruzzo-Molise and beyond is a must. And it has to be accompanied by the creation of consistent sea corridors. Finally within the future strategy, Abruzzo stands strongly for the establishment of networks of enterprise and innovation clusters, and an infrastructure strategy, with specialized logistics nodes. In fact, only if territorial needs are represented in a bottomup and multi-level-governace approach, through widely shared and agreed solutions, the succes of this EU strategy can be achieved.

Elections 2014 and EPP Congress During a party summit on 19 December, the EPP Heads of State and Goverrnent agreed upon the procedure and timeline for the selection of the EPP candidate for President of the European Commission, who will lead EPP’s EU-wide campaign for the 2014 European elections. A call for candidates will be opened on 13 February and will run until 5 March. To be nominated, a candidate needs the support of his or her own member party, plus the endorsement of two member parties from two EU countries other than the country of origin of the candidate. Congress delegates in Dublin will elect the candidate and launch the official election campaign on 6 and 7 March. A delegation from the EPP Group in the CoR, led by President Michael Schneider, will attend the Congress.

To show support for the European elections, and to mark the 20th anniversary of the EPP Group in the CoR, EPP Group will show the impact of the EU on our daily lives with a short brochure. This publication will be distributed to the European People’s Party Congress in Dublin and other relevant pre-election events.

The activity report of the EPP Group in the Committee of the Regions


Plenary Highlights the conference with Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.

Culture and Creativity

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, will discuss growth and jobs and the forthcoming review of the Europe 2020 Strategy on the first day of the CoR Plenary Session. Moreover, he

Europe’s regions and cities making a difference Conference of the Committee of the Regions 29/30 January 2014 Brussels

One day before the Plenary, a conference on Europe’s culture and creativity will take place in the CoR, with the participation of Anton Rombouts. According to a recent report, creative and cultural sectors represent a significant potential to contribute to the sustainable recovery of the economy and to create jobs. With a share of 4.5% of the EU’s GDP and 4% of its workforce, creative and cultural institutions and enterprises are an important and a very dynamic part of the EU economy. Creative sectors face, however, a number of challenges such as a fragmented cultural market and space, namely due to linguistic diversity, the ‘digital shift’ of art production and dissemination, a difficult access to finance for creative enterprises, and finally, a lack of comparable data. In his recent opinion, cultural and creative sectors for growth and jobs, Mayor Rombouts proposed the creation of a “European Creativity Forum”, which would bring together public, private and voluntary groups to analyse ways in which Europe could apply creative solutions to pressing local and European problems. This proposal will be taken up again at the end of

will explain his vision of a roadmap for the future of Europe. President Schneider will address President Barroso following his intervention. Greek Minister for the Interior, Yannis Michelakis, will also address the Plenary Session to outline the priorities of the Greek Presidency. Dimitrios Kalogeropoulos will respond. On the second day of the Plenary Session, Olli Rehn, Vice President of the European Commission in charge of the Economic and Monetary Affairs, will address members concerning the Europe 2020 midterm review and the financial and economic situation for 2014. His intervention will be followed by a statement from Markku Markkula, on behalf of the EPP Group.

EPP-led opinions at Plenary A new EU Forest Strategy: for forests and the forest-based sector

Rapporteur: Spyros Spyridon (Regional Councillor for Attika, Greece) NAT-V-035 This opinion broadly welcomes the strategy on forestry published by the European Commission and recognises the importance it holds in tackling climate change and providing much needed economic impetus. The rapporteur argues that with EU goals on reducing biodiversity loss not expected to be achieved, more must be done to improve surveillance to fight illegal logging and counteract the challenges faced by rural areas from the continued growth of urbanisation. It also calls for a broader range of funding sources for forestry to enable Member States

and local governments deliver on its objectives. The forestry sector in Europe provides some 3.5 m jobs so driving forward new management practises and investing in research can create more work whilst protecting forests which cover 40% of Europe, Councillor Spyridon argues. Turning to the role of local and regional authorities in the strategy, the rapporteur questions the lack of their reference in the European Commission report. To ensure the sustainable and long-term protection of the environment and forestry industry, local authorities should be more closely

involved in planning participating, for example, in the Standing Forestry Committee and the Advisory Group on Forestry and Cork. To sum up, the opinion urges the European Commission to adopt minimum standards on forestry, questions the Commission’s funding plans given that the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development is insufficient to deliver it and recommends that Member States be allowed to access several funding sources (EAFRD, ERDF, ESF, Cohesion Fund) as part of the drive.

“The New EU Forest Strategy contains objectives and approaches that the European Commission, Member States and relevant stakeholders are encouraged to adopt to help implement and to tailor to suit local circumstances. Therefore regional and local specificities of EU forests must be duly taken into account. At every governance level, sustainable forest management, the use of timber and the improvement of the image of the forestry sector and its workers in the European Union shall be promoted” Gaston Franco, MEP and Chair of the “Forestry” Working Group of the European Parliament Intergroup “Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development”


European higher education in the world

Rapporteur: Csaba Borboly (President of Harghita County Council, Romania) EDUC-V-038 There has never been a time when higher education and its links with research and innovation have played a more crucial role for Europe’s regions and cities. This opinion therefore calls for local and regional authorities to be more involved in the internationalisation strategies of higher education institutions. European universities have excellent links inside Europe but many lack a clear strategy for strengthening their ties with non-European

partners. Moreover, the rapporteur is concerned that there are only a few European universities with a strong international reputation. He therefore encourages member states to use the CSF funds to build on infrastructure in those regions where higher education is lagging behind. He adds that this should be carried out where there is a credible strategy for better international relations and smart specialisation. President Borboly also sees great potential in

the dissemination of best practices and systemic solutions in the European higher educational system to neighbouring and pre-accession countries given that this could facilitate student mobility and give Europe a stronger position in the competition for talent. To conclude, the opinion makes a recommendation to the Commission to achieve efficient, accessible and rapid management of international cooperation on research, innovation and higher education.

“The degree of internationalisation of higher education has increased in the European Union and worldwide and is expected to rise further in future. The European Union will provide the policy framework and funding support to cope with the challenges faced, mainly through the Erasmus+ programme for the 2014–20 period. But it is at national and regional level and in the universities to develop strategies on internationalisation of higher education and to further develop their mobility schemes and cross border exchanges.” Doris Pack, MEP and Chair of the Committee on Culture and Education

Inequalities in health in the EU

Rapporteur: Constance Hanniffy (Offaly County Council and Midland Regional Authority, Ireland) NAT-V-034 The regrettable extent of continuing health inequalities across the EU is highlighted in the Commission report, but this opinion also highlights the differences in healthy life years between regions in Member States. Local and regional authorities play key roles in the direct provision of public health services while other functions and policies, such as in employment, housing, transport, land-use planning, the environment, education and public safety ensure that they are key actors in tackling health inequalities. The opinion also draws attention to

the fact that inequalities cannot be reduced by the health sector alone. Rather, it requires action by all those whose work promotes health and wellbeing through coordinated planning - the Health in All Policies approach. The rapporteur states that fostering a culture of multi-level governance is particularly appropriate to reducing health inequalities. She encourages the introduction and implementation of overarching intersectoral strategies because reducing health inequalities will require commitment from the many relevant departments such as health, social

protection, education, transport, energy and from different levels of governance. The inclusion of health-related actions across a diverse range of EU programmes further encourages higher-level intersectoral strategies so that the maximum benefits for improved health outcomes can be gained from the resources available. Councillor Hanniffy calls for strong political and organisational leadership to drive the reduction in health inequalities and stresses that political leaders can truly make the difference in their communities.

“I am glad that the Commission is finally taking the steps to tackle health inequalities in Europe. Whether social, economic or geographical, health inequalities are a burden for many EU citizens. The opinion from Mrs. Hanniffy is going in the right direction and should support local authorities in better addressing this issue.” Françoise Grossetête, MEP and member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

The activity report of the EPP Group in the Committee of the Regions


Framing 2030 climate and energy policy

Rapporteur: Sirpa Hertell (Member of the Espoo City Council, Finland) ENVE-V-038 This opinion recommends that binding targets should be set respectively for renewable energy and energy efficiency in addition to the emissions reduction target. According to the rapporteur, the EU climate and energy goals should be to reduce energy consumption, increase energy independence and shift from fossil-based to renewable energy sources. It may additionally foster other long-term benefits as such as increased public health and the creation of new jobs. Local and regional authorities have broad relevance and an important role

to play in mitigating climate change (70% of climate mitigation measures and up to 90% of adaptation measures are being undertaken by local authorities), preparing for and adapting to changes, and addressing energy issues. Hence, Councillor Hertell regrets that there is not a single mention in the Commission’s Green Paper of local and regional authorities’ relevance or of climate and energy-related measures already taken at this level. The opinion recommends that the legally binding 2030 target for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the EU

as a whole be set at an ambitious 50% of 1990 levels, and insists that the Member States should agree amongst themselves on how to share the burden of emissions cuts. She also argues that emissions trading, which is to continue through to 2020, has not worked as intended. In her view, ETS could be replaced with a carbon tax scheme. Finally, the rapporteur suggests regulations to lower the energy consumption of new buildings close to zero and proposes that local authorities could require the use of low-emission fuels in public transport.

“On the 9th of January, the joint ENVI/ITRE committee in the European Parliament voted in favour of three binding targets. The role of the local and regional authorities is essential in the achievement of our climate and energy objectives. We underlined it in our report. I am also convinced that energy efficiency deserves to be one of the cornerstones of the EU 2030 climate and energy policy, alongside a structurally reformed ETS. It is disappointing to note that the Commission, despite all the benefits acknowledged to energy efficiency, does not include it in its framework proposal.” Anne Delvaux MEP and co-rapporteur on Framing 2030 climate and energy policy

Rules of Procedure Under the chairmanship of the EPP (firstly with Mr Jahn (EPP/DE) and later with Spyros Spyridon (EPP/EL)), the ad hoc commission on the Rules of Procedure carried out its work in order on the one hand, to prepare the Committee’s bodies for Croatia’s accession to the Union and on the other, to incorporate

amendments to the Rules made necessary since its last revision in order to take account of the difficulties encountered since then. Concretely, the Chairman Spyros Spyridon identifies (among others) changes such as the new deadlines to improve the procedure for tabling amendments, the revision of the procedure Getting young people out to vote is an online platform that aims to reach out to young people ahead of the 2014 European elections. The EPP believes that young people have a lot to contribute and that politicians should listen to what they have to say. The Youth of the EPP is therefore launching this project to provide an opportunity for young Europeans to provide input to real policy making at EU level. The best proposals will be incorporated into the electoral programme of the European People’s


Party. The 10 participants with the best policy proposals will get the opportunity to express their ideas directly to EPP Prime Ministers and EU leaders at the EPP Congress which will be held in Dublin, Ireland on the 6th and 7th of March 2014. The participant who gives the best proposal will be awarded a paid internship at the Centre for European Studies, the EPP’s think tank and political foundation, in Brussels.

used for dealing with amendments during the voting process, the distinction between the legal basis for referrals and the legal basis for the corresponding decisions as well as the legal acknowledgement to the conference of presidents as a constituent body, to be of added value in the work done by the Members.

EPP/CoR's 6th Study Visit 1-2-3 April 2014

EPP Study Visit The EPP Group in the CoR invites students enrolled in a Master’s Programme in European Studies, Political Science or International Relations to join them for the April Plenary Session. Participants will be able to witness EU decision making and learn about the pivitol role of local and regional actors first-hand before casting their vote in the 2014 European Elections.

The deadline for applications: 7 March 2014 For more information, please contact

Ongoing Opinions Comission



Expected Adoption


The execution of EU budget 2007-2013

Adam Struzik, Marshal of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship (PL)

June 2014


Enlargement strategy and main challenges 2013-2014

Arnoldas Abramavičius, Member of Zarasai District Municipal Council (LT)

April 2014


A quality framework for traineeships

Andrius Kupcinskas, Mayor of Kaunas

January 2014


Directive on seafarers

Paul Lindquist, Mayor and chairman of the Lidingö Municipal Executive Board (SE)

April 2014


Multi Level Governance On European Capital: promoting regional EU Biodiversity Strategy 2020 and implementing Aichi targets

Kadri Tillemann, Keila Rural Municipality Councillor (EE)

June 2014


Promotion of agricultural products on the internal market and in third countries

Pedro Sanz Alonso, President of the Regional Government of La Rioja (ES)

April 2014

The activity report of the EPP Group in the Committee of the Regions


Upcoming Meetings 6th February



10th February



12th February



13th February

EU budget


18th February



19th February



20th February

Political Monitoring Group


23-24 February

ARLEM Plenary


6-7th March

EPP Congress


7th March

CoR Bureau


7-8th March

CoR Summit


19th March



24th March

ECOS external seminar

La Rioja

30-31 January 2014

Plenary Session


Secretary General: Heinz-Peter Knapp Editor in chief: Kathryn Owens,, +32 2 282 2400 | Press Officer: Dominik Krakowiak This issue is also available at | Join us on

/EPPGroupCoR | follow us on


January 2014 rEPPorter  

Newsletter of the EPP Group in the Committee of the Regions - January 2014 edition

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you