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20 years of

VALUES in Europe’s regions and cities


Supporting the European Elections 2014


Contents What is the added value of the EU on my life?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Celebrating EPP Values. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 The European Elections in brief . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 An INNOVATIVE Europe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 An ENTREPRENEURIAL Europe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 A COMPETITIVE Europe.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 A RESPONSIBLE Europe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 A Europe RESPECTFUL of the Planet .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 A SUSTAINABLE Europe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 A Europe of SOLIDARITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 A Europe of OPPORTUNITY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 A Europe rich in CULTURE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 A COHESIVE Europe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 The Committee of the Regions: a political assembly. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 What does the EPP Group in the CoR stand for?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Enhanced cooperation with the European Parliament ahead of the elections. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Expectations for the Future of the EU. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Projects supplied by. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23


What is the added value of the EU on my life?

Have you ever thought about how high-speed trains do not have to stop when they get to EU borders? Why less and less people are left in the cold during the winter despite financial constraints? Or why it is so much easier to work, study and travel abroad than it ever was before? The EU works tirelessly to find solutions to society’s problems and to boost growth and jobs by connecting Europe, by believing in Europe’s people and by investing in Europe’s regions. Our daily lives and our futures are influenced by the decisions taken in the European Parliament and European Council. Indeed, 70% of EU legislation has a regional and local impact. The EPP Group in the CoR celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and this publication is a celebration of the projects that Europe’s EPP regions and cities have been involved in. The EU matters and brings great benefits to all of us. And that is why it is so important to make your voice heard in the 2014 European elections. A vote for the European People’s Party will ensure that your vote counts towards achieving a Europe where commitment, responsibility and solidarity matter. EPP is delivering tangible results on the ground so that our children and future generations can live in a healthy and sustainable world, in freedom and in happiness. Michael Schneider, President of the European People’s Party Group in the Committee of the Regions

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Celebrating EPP Values

Having pioneered the European project since its inception, the EPP is the inheritor of a profoundly important set of values, like justice, freedom, responsability, equality, solidarity, etc., advocated by the European Union’s founding fathers. Courage and moral strength to surmount discouragement are as important today as they were ever before. At the EU, national, regional and local levels, we have to ensure that the financial crisis that has blighted our continent since 2008 will never again be repeated. The projects in this brochure are cause for hope: they not only show the strengths of the European Union but also positive investment in its people. The maintenance of peace through extensive cooperation and mutual understanding is the overriding policy objective of the EU. This is the essential political backdrop to the European project. A Europe united in diversity and governed by the rule of law demonstrates that against all odds, lasting peace is possible and such a Europe can act as a force of good for the world. We will keep up our commitment to improving people’s daily lives by bringing about progress on specific measures at European level and look forward to cooperating with our colleagues in the EPP Group in the Committee of the Regions for another 20 years. Joseph Daul, President of the European People’s Party

Supporting the European Elections 2014 /5


The European Elections in brief The European elections of 22-25 May 2014 give voters the chance to influence the future of the European Union through the election of 751 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), who will represent their interests for the next five years.

What is different this time? 2014 will be the first time the Treaty of Lisbon is fully implemented for the designation of the members of the European Parliament and the President of the European Commission. Regarding the MEP elections, there is no single procedure. However elections have to follow a proportional system. Number of seats at the European Parliament for each Member State

2014 seats 2014 seats

DE

FR

UK

IT

ES

PL

RO

NL

EL

BE

PT

CZ

HU

SE

96

74

73

73

54

51

32

26

21

21

21

21

21

20

AT

BG

DK

SK

FI

IE

HR

LI

SI

LV

EE

CY

LU

MT

18

17

13

13

13

11

11

11

8

8

6

6

6

6

The results of the European Parliament elections have to be taken into account by the European Council when it proposes a candidate for the President of the European Commission. Secondly, the Treaty specifies that the President of the Commission is to be “elected” by the Parliament with an absolute majority.

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Election dates per country 22 May 2014

Netherlands, UK

23 May 2014

Czech Republic (1st day), Ireland

24 May 2014

Cyprus, Czech Republic (2nd day), France (overseas regions), Italy (1st day), Latvia, Malta, Slovakia

25 May 2014

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Italy (2nd day), Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia

Why is it important to vote? EU citizenship gives every EU citizen the right to vote for and stand as a candidate in municipal and European Parliament elections in whichever EU country the citizen resides. Voting is an essential part of Europe’s democratic fabric and forms the core of the EPP’s values. It is a fundamental right that should be cherished and exercised with both intelligence and diligence. As the European Union seeks to pull through the economic crisis and EU leaders reflect on what direction to take in future, these are the most important European elections to date. The European Union has a direct impact on Europeans’ daily lives, as can be seen in the following project examples.

EPP Priorities and Values Believe in people. The EPP will launch its European campaign at its Dublin Congress on 6-7 March 2014. The campaign focusses on helping people to become successful and to help them when they struggle. People are the economy of Europe and the EPP will work to help family firms, small businesses, innovators, inventors, researchers, scientists and the self-employed to be beacons for innovation and excellence across Europe and beyond. “Every euro spent from the EU budget should bring added value to the projects it supports and to the communities in which the money is spent. EU funding should be used to make the best possible impact on improving competitiveness and creating jobs in Europe.”1 1

EPP Platform 2013-2020

Supporting the European Elections 2014 /7


An INNOVATIVE Europe University of Science and Technology, Poland àà http://budowa.ki.agh.edu.pl/ The ERDF co-financed laboratories and conference rooms at the IT Centre of the University of Science and Technology in Kraków are furnished with the latest teleconference systems, allowing lectures to be given from anywhere in the world. It is a place of education for future generations of IT specialists.

Innovative Business Parks, Romania àà http://fidibe.eu/ Thanks to EU support, Harghita County Council is boosting its innovation potential and competitiveness through support for small and medium sized enterprises and promotion of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. It is a transnational development project funded by the South East Europe Transnational Cooperation Programme.

Life Cycle Hub, Austria àà http://www.creebyrhomberg.com/lct1/index_en.php Creative Resource & Energy Efficiency (CREE) project in Vorarlberg is not simply a construction company, but also a source of ideas and inspiration for finding new strategies towards the sustainable handling of nature and its resources. Innovative thinking leads to individual industrialisation.

Climate-KIC, Spain àà http://www.climate-kic.org/regional-centres/valencia-spain/ Climate-KIC’s centre in Valencia intends to lead innovation policy and practice on climate change at the regional level. The Region of Valencia will host the Innovation Festival in Climate Change in October 2014, bringing together entrepreneurs, policy makers and business market leaders.

SOLAR RACE Región de Murcia, Spain àà www.murciasolarrace.com This is an efficiency and endurance test for vehicles built by students using solar photovoltaic, biofuels, hydrogen or electrical plugs. The vehicles must use the least amount of energy whilst maintaining an average minimum speed. . It is financed by EU Funds and won the EU Prize for Innovation in Public Administration. 8/


An ENTREPRENEURIAL Europe Urban Mill, Finland àà www.urbanmill.org This is an innovation co-creation space based on creative hybrids of physical, virtual and social dimensions. The Urban Mill, operating within the Aalto University Campus, is mainly a private entrepreneurial risk-taking activity with strong international flavour. It providing space and operational services to innovation and start-up-activities and also relies on EU structural funds.

Plurilingua, Belgium àà http://www.commart.eu/en/home/ Plurilingua helps businesses to effectively negotiate offers, handle complaints and describe the technical conditions of a product. They also provide linguistic training and support including interpreting cultural differences, adding nuances in foreign languages and reading ‘between the lines’. It was nominated as one of the best Leonardo da Vinci products.

Espoo Innovation Garden, Finland àà www.aalto.fi Aalto University – the key research actor within the Espoo Innovation Garden – has been an active partner in about 150 projects within the EU 7th Framework Programme. Together with an extensive university-industry collaboration, as well as new entrepreneurial discovery and start-up mind set have formed a strong base for the Espoo Innovation Garden, which is one of the finalists in the EU Innovation Capital Award competition.

National Contingency Reserve, Greece This is a Greek comprehensive intervention plan to support entrepreneurship, businesses and their employees on the ground, through training and advisory activities, as well as employment support in areas that suffer the consequences of the economic crisis.

Liège Trilogiport, Belgium àà http://www.portdeliege.be/en/trilogiport The primary aim of this multimodal platform is to offer European businesses a home with connections to 56 million consumers. The Trilogiport will be a magnet for companies relying on the waterway and will bring many opportunities and new jobs to the region.

Supporting the European Elections 2014 /9


A COMPETITIVE Europe Kraków Museum of Polish Aviation àà http://www.muzeumlotnictwa.pl/ The Museum of Polish Aviation in Kraków attracts visitors for both its architecture and rich collection. The facility won the CEMEX Building Award 2011 for the best concrete buildings in the public and industrial buildings category.

Promotion of the Sekler Products, Romania àà www.szekelytermek.ro Harghita County Council developed the Sekler Product community trademark, efficiently representing and protecting the interests of local producers. Thanks to international fairs and exhibitions, successful international partnerships have been created for example with the Hungarian Auchan supermarket.

Wine Tourism Network, Croatia and Montenegro àà www.www.dubrovnikfestiwine.com Through this IPA cross-border programme between Croatia and Montenegro, the Dubrovnik Neretva Region can better promote and increase the sales of wine and local products. The Dubrovnik FestiWine showcased the regions strengths and brought new visitors to the area.

Cultural Quarter Development, Ireland àà http://www.athloneartandheritage.ie/luan-gallery/art-gallery The Border, Midland and West region in Ireland used capital grant assistance from the ERDF to promote sustainable urban development in its hub towns. By improving the attractiveness of this area to live, work, invest and visit the region benefits from economic advantages. One such project to benefit is the Luan Art Gallery.

Polish - German- French Youth Forum àà http://www.mazovia.pl/en/ Mazowieckie hosted the Polish - German-French Youth Forum in 2009. A total of six partners joined forces to work on innovative ways for young people to be actively involved in. The project was implemented with the financial support under the EU Youth in Action Programme and gave the young participants new skills, which will help them to compete in the job market. 10/


A RESPONSIBLE Europe FloodResilienCity Flood, Ireland àà http://www.floodresiliencity.eu The FloodResilienCity programme promotes an innovative approach to flood risk management and prevention based on the concept of the 4A’s: Awareness, Avoidance, Alleviation and Assistance. Through this initiative, Dublin City Council has 3D modelled the city and limited potential damage from flooding.

High V.LO-City, Belgium àà http://highvlocity.eu/ The High V.LO-City project puts highly efficient, hydrogen buses in the Flanders’ public transport fleets. It demonstrates the economic and technical viability of these buses and intelligent infrastructure solutions.

Europa Nostra Award, Romania àà http://www.epitettorokseg.ro/ Following a struggle between tradition and modernisation, Harghita County Council launched a programme protect and preserve the traditional rural image of its settlements and communities. The preservation of traditional carved wooden gates, called Sekler gates, earned the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage in 2012.

Civitas Mimosa: Innovation in Mobility, Poland àà http://www.civitas-mimosa.eu The city of Gdańsk is one of the five European cities participating in a project to promote a car-free life style, mobility management and to increase safety and security in the urban area. Gdańsk has introduced “Bike Fridays” to raise the awareness of using alternative transport by distributing small gifts to cyclists at strategic crossing points in the city.

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A Europe RESPECTFUL of the Planet Han Bogrov, Bulgaria àà http://www.sofia.bg/en/display.asp?ime=projects This integrated system for the treatment of municipal waste in the Sofia Municipality was implemented with the financial support of the Operational Programme Environment 2007 to 2013 and a loan from the European Investment Bank. The Composting facilities are part of a project to build an integrated system for processing the waste of Sofia in a clean way.

Medieval Tombstones in the Western Balkans àà www.hercul-project.eu The Dubrovnik Neretva Region joined a number of other partners to preserve and restore valuable, cultural objects damaged or destroyed by war. Specifically, the medieval stećci tombstones have been restored on two pilot sites.

The Climate Network of Finnish Mayors àà http://www.espoo.fi The six largest Finnish cities have joined forces to actively implement climate initiatives. The aim is to advance new initiatives, increase cooperation and share best practices for respecting the planet and integrating them into the city budgets.

Respect@Environment.eu àà http://elearn.pi.ac.cy/respect-environment/ C Makedonitissa’s Elementary School in Nicosia and Milagros school in Castilla y León participate in this Commenius Project, which encourages children to respect the environment and promotes awareness of diversity. Five other schools from different countries also participate.

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A SUSTAINABLE Europe Step Up, Belgium àà http://www.vito.be From December 2012 until mid-2015, the STEP-UP project will develop an integrated and improved sustainable energy action plan for the city of Ghent, prepare viable pilot projects for smart city energy planning and create a learning network of smart energy cities in Flanders. It’s conducted under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research.

Abruzzo and the Covenant of Mayors, Italy àà http://www.regione.abruzzo.it All 305 municipalities in Abruzzo have joined the Covenant of Mayors and the 4  Provincial governments have also guaranteed their support. Much work has been done to the value of 26 million Euros and as a result Abruzzo presented its experiences and best practices at the Rio UN Climate Change Conference in June 2012.

GNIEWINO – The Municipality with Energy, Poland àà Website: http://sgpeo.pl/ Sustainability is at the heart of Gniewino’s energy solutions, for example solar collectors have been placed on a school and swimming pool roofs and a willow plantation is being chipped for energy. The largest polish hydroelectric power plant is situated in Czymanów and there is also a large wind farm in Lisewo.

Transdanube àà www.transdanube.eu Transdanube combines sustainable mobility with the tourism sector along the River Danube, where the level of cooperation is still weak at the moment. This EU funded project (ERDF and SEE) aims to raise awareness, knowledge and promotion for sustainable mobility in tourism. Bratislava is a strong partner in this project.

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A Europe of SOLIDARITY Synagogue in Dąbrowa Tarnowska, Poland àà http://www.oskdabrowa.pl/ Modernized with the help of EU funds, the 19th-century synagogue is unique in Europe. The facility serves the memory of Hasidism in Poland, as well as providing an exhibition space, cultural and educational centre.

Municipal Public Library in Oświęcim, Poland àà http://mbp-oswiecim.pl/ The Library in Oświęcim looks like an art gallery. Multimedia rooms allow access to educational games and the museum and film collections, which are also available for the blind and hearing impaired. In 2012 it was included on the list of the best libraries in Europe by the World Architecture News service.

Spatial Orientation Park, Poland àà http://www.harpo.com.pl/ Located in Owińska, not far from Poznań in the Polish region of Wielkopolska, Europe’s only Spatial Orientation Park for Vision-Impaired Children has been created. With thousands of sounds stored in a sound library, a special laboratory and a selection of balance beams and trampolines, children with sight deficiencies are at ease. The park is supported by ERDF funds.

Human Resources Development, Greece Egaleo provides comprehensive services for homeless people and people living in poverty thanks to EU support. This project aims to empower vulnerable groups through actions of psychosocial support and treatment of social exclusion. It is especially relevant today as a large part of the population has been affected by the economic crisis.

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A Europe of OPPORTUNITY GOEUROPE! European Youth Centre, Germany àà http://www.goeurope-lsa.de/goeurope/ GOEUROPE! European Youth Centre of Excellence Saxony-Anhalt is the youth advice centre for questions about European mobility and programmes for young people in Saxony-Anhalt. Funded by the European Social Fund and the State of Saxony-Anhalt, the Youth Centre aims to increase employment opportunities and employability.

First European Travel Experience, Belgium àà http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/tourism/calypso/activities/ documents_calypso/fete_summary_en.pdf CALYPSO allows exchanges of young people with limited or no travel experience during the low season. It is a good practice example, which could provide inspiration for the implementation of other touristic transnational exchanges in Europe.

Regional Biotechnology Centre, Croatia àà http://www.ss-mareljkovica-sb.skole.hr/ The EU financed centre in Brod-Posavina opened its doors in November 2013 with the aim of encouraging research and development in agriculture. Agricultural producers will get free education and support to develop the area of agrotechnology.

Youth and Brussels Based Regions àà http://yBBregions.eu.org/ This European project promoted by Abruzzo Region, in partnership with DubrovnikNeretva, Lubuskie and Prešov regions, is part of the “Youth in Action” Programme. Activities will take place in the four countries from the 1st May 2014 to the 30th April 2016.

Simulation of European Commission, Latvia àà www.jaunpils.lv This co-funded project from Jaunpils municipal council, together with partners from Spain and Italy, allowed young people to better understand the work of the European Commission and discuss topical problems for young people. It was supported by the programme “Youth in Action”. Supporting the European Elections 2014 /15


A Europe rich in CULTURE VIA SAVARIA: Saint Martin’s cultural path àà www.viasanctimartini.eu The Saint Martin’s cultural path is a cross-border tourism between Slovenia and Hungary. ERDF funding is extremely important because such cooperation requires coordinated work from all partners and across national borders. Cultural awareness is enhanced thanks to common historical, cultural and natural heritage.

2016: the year of Jheronimus Bosch, Netherlands àà http://www.bosch500.nl/en Almost five hundred years after the death of Jheronimus Bosch, the unequalled painter will be commemorated in great style with a ground-breaking, multiannual programme full of social-cultural, scientific and artistic activities. This event will support BrabantStad in its candidacy to be the Cultural Capital of Europe 2018.

Ciudadano Riojano Europeo, Spain àà www.larioja.org In the framework of the 2013 European Year for Citizenship, La Rioja organised a project to find European citizens of the region. Each month, a person or organization from La Rioja was rewarded for their awareness of European values and/or participating in EU programmes.

Le Mois de l’Europe en Alsace, France àà www.region-alsace.eu/mois-europe The « Month of Europe in Alsace » informs citizens about Europe, its history, values, symbols, etc. and shows the impact of Europe on their daily lives. The events provide information on the European Union and show how Europe is united in its common values and cultures. It is co-financed by EU-Funds.

Yo, Ciudadano Europeo, Spain àà http://europedirectregiondemurcia.blogspot.be/ This campaign promoted the importance of European citizens’ rights and what Europe has done for the Region of Murcia during the 2013 Year of the European Citizenship. It was available to 15 municipalities, to more than 3.000 citizens in schools and technical colleges. The initiative is co-financed by the Commission. 16/


A COHESIVE Europe Sofia subway, Bulgaria àà http://www.sofia.bg/en/index_en.asp Over the past two years, Sofia has commissioned 12.7 km of subway lines with 13  subway stations, 3  underground buffer parkings. 18  metro trains were delivered and all metro stations have been provided with accessibility for people with disabilities. All thanks to EU support.

Upper Austria Broadband Internet Initiative àà www.bereitband.at With support from EU funds, the entire Upper Austrian population can benefit from affordable broadband connections. It is particularly important to have such support given the amount of rural areas in the region.

Laulasmaa Telework Centre, Estonia àà www.kaugtookeskus.ee This teleworking centre is an office in the rural municipality of Keila, which can be used by small businesses and freelancers. It reduces the need to travel by linking the rural areas with the capital city and contributes to a better work-life balance.

Lublin Airport, Poland àà http://mapa.rpo.lubelskie.pl/pl/projekt-4241/rozbudowaregionalnego-portu-lotniczego-port-lotniczy-lublin-sa-swidnik Lubelskie has waited for the investment in Lublin Airport for many years. The dreams came true in 2012 when the first airplane departed from Świdnik London. Other destinations include Liverpool, Dublin, Oslo and Gdansk.

Regional Motorway Ex A1 Navalmoral-Plasencia- Portugal àà http://fomento.gobex.es/fomento/live/index.htm This new cross-border motorway is a key for the Iberian Peninsula and improves regional competitiveness and accessibility. It also enhances tourism and the development of industry and business. The infrastructure benefits go beyond regional and national boundaries. Supporting the European Elections 2014 /17


The Committee of the Regions: a political assembly The Committee of the Regions (CoR) is a political assembly made up of representatives from local and regional bodies. Its members are the ambassadors of Europe in the regions, cities and municipalities and they Europe’s citizens in the European debate. Given that approximately two-thirds of EU legislation is implemented by local and regional authorities, their experience and expertise is of great added value to EU decision making. The CoR mission is therefore: “To involve regional and local authorities in the European decision-making process and to encourage greater participation from its citizens” Local and regional politicians are also ideally placed to establish and maintain close links with European citizens. With each new Treaty, the CoR has continued to increase its role in European decision-making and gained greater competences. Today, the CoR leads the process of monitoring subsidiarity in coordination with local and regional authorities to ensure that decisions are made at the most appropriate level of governance. The CoR has the right to bring action before the Court of Justice on the grounds of violation of the subsidiarity principal. It also monitors, measures and shapes the impact of EU policies on the ground via territorial impact assessments of EU legislative proposals. The Council, European Parliament and European Commission are obliged to consult the CoR when making legislative proposals in the following areas:

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àà Civil protection

àà Education

àà Tourism

àà Climate change

àà Employment

àà Trans-European

àà Culture

àà Energy

àà Economic, social

àà Environment

àà Transport

and territorial cohesion

àà Public Health

àà Vocational training

àà Social Affairs

àà Youth

networks


What does the EPP Group in the CoR stand for? The EPP Group’s political action is based on the belief that cooperation between European, national, regional and local levels is essential for an ever closer and more supportive as well as a means to respond to the challenges of globalisation. At the same time, Europe’s rich diversity should be celebrated. Territorial, cultural and linguistic differences are a source of strength and important foundations for citizenship. The EPP/CoR Group ensures that the principals of subsidiarity and proportionality are upheld so the decisions are taken and applied as close to the citizens as possible and at the most appropriate level. It also advocates that legislation is implemented more effectively and at greater proximity whilst promoting good governance and encouraging decentralisation. Moreover, the EPP/CoR Group works for and towards a Europe that upholds a prosperous and peaceful future for all its citizens. However, these beliefs and values are not only true to the EPP/CoR Group. The European People’s Party, its representatives in the European Parliament, European Commission and Council are close partners and allies. At the end of 2013, Michael Schneider, President of the EPP/CoR Group welcomed the adoption of the Multiannual Financial Framework and the legislative package on cohesion, which allows investments in quality projects for competitiveness, transport infrastructure, in digital and energy networks, in education and innovation. The adoption of these measures should encourage the European leaders to focus their energy on supporting the beneficiaries of EU policies by quickly delivery of the investments that can spur on growth in Europe.

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Enhanced cooperation with the European Parliament ahead of the elections The Committee of the Regions signed a cooperation agreement with the European Parliament on 5th February 2014, which reinforces the political relationship between the two EU institutions. It strengthens the political and consultative role of the Committee of the Regions throughout the EU’s legislative and decision-making process, notably by better involving CoR rapporteurs. CoR members will be able to use the expertise of the new Parliament Research Service and to take part in European Semester Works of the Parliament, including the participation of a CoR delegation into the European Parliamentary Week. This cooperation shows the commitment of both institutions to join forces and increase the democratic legitimacy of the EU.

The Europe of the Future In an evolving Europe, and one which needs find new ways to reconnect with its citizens and to reinforce its democratic legitimacy, the future role of the CoR needs to be explored further. But what is already clear is that the CoR needs to be better integrated into the EU policy-making cycle. For its part, the EPP Group will continue to seek to strengthen its role as a political assembly. Moreover, it will continue its complimentary role to that of the directly elected representatives in the European Parliament and the representatives of national governments in the Council. This publication is a small part of a greater process to demonstrate what the CoR can offer to the legislators via its proximity to the citizens and its expertise on how existing legislation and spending programmes are effectively working on the ground. Only time will tell if Treaty Changes and further developments will follow, but the EPP Group looks forward to finding its place in the Europe of the future. A Europe of ever growing efficiency, proximity and legitimacy.

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Expectations for the Future of the EU Students’ views

“In 2020 a lot will have been accomplished. States and regions will have successfully achieved the plan of growing a sustainable economy and they will be reaching the targets set out under the Europe 2020 Strategy. Although every state and region has their own targets, they could still manage to make the EU-wide objectives happen.” Sonata Grusniute, Lithuania

I am rather an optimist when it comes to the European project, believing in widening and deepening for the future. By 2020, EU membership should definitely be extended to citizens of the Balkan states and Iceland. In terms of deepening, I think that identities in the EU will evolve and people will feel increasingly European. Konrad Jagodziński, Poland

“It does not matter if it is sparsely populated areas, regions with only one industry: tourism, agriculture, mills etc. or something different, the regions willingness to find solutions together is the answer for 2020.” Jenny-Katariina Hasu, Finland

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28/ 14/ 16/

7/

23/ 18/ 29/

17/

5/

21/ 4/

30/ 1/ 27/

22/

6/ 13/


Projects supplied by

3/

12/

1/ Alberto Fabra Part Valencia Region Spain

2/ Gerry Breen Dublin Ireland

3/ Csaba Borboly Harghita County Romania

4/ Giovanni Chiodi Abruzzo Italy

5/ Nikola Dobroslavić Dubrovnik-Neretva Croatia

6/ Malina Edreva Lazarova Sofia Municipality Bulgaria

Supporting the European Elections 2014 /23


24/

7/ Pavol Frešo Bratislava Region Slovakia

8/ Ligita Gintere Jaunpils Municipality Latvia

9/ Constance Hanniffy Offaly County Ireland

10/ Sirpa Hertell Espoo Finland

11/ Krzysztof Hetman Lubelskie Voivodeship Poland

12/ Dimitiros Kalogeropoulos Egaleo, Greece

13/ Vladimir Kissiov Sofia Municipality Bulgaria

14/ Michel Lebrun Wallonia Belgium

15/ Markku Markkula Helsinki Region Finland

16/ Pascal Mangin Alsace France

17/ Danijel Marušić Brod-Posavina County Croatia

18/ Erwin Mohr Wolfurt Austria


19/ Anton Rombouts ‘s Hertogenbosch Netherlands

20/ Kadri Tilleman Keila Estonia

21/ Pedro Sanz Alonso La Rioja Spain

22/ Michael Schneider Saxony-Anhalt Germany

23/ Viktor Sigl Upper Austria Austria

24/ Mieczyslaw Struk Pomorskie Voivodeship Poland

25/ Adam Struzik Mazowieckie Voivodeship Poland

26/ Marek Woźniak Wielkopolska Voivodeship Poland

27/ Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso Murcia, Spain

28/ Luc Van den Brande Flanders Belgium

29/ Ivan Žagar Slovenska Bistrica Slovenia

30/ José Antonio Monago Terraza Extremadura, Spain

Supporting the European Elections 2014 /25


© 2014 European People’s Party Group in the Committee of the Regions


CDR_2156/02-2014/EN

EPP Group in the Committee of the Regions Rue Belliard/Belliardstraat, 101 _ 1040 Bruxelles/Brussel _ BELGIQUE/BELGIĂ‹ Tel. +32 2 282 2250 _ epp@cor.europa.eu www.epp.cor.europa.eu

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