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The Committee of the Regions cooperates with local and regional authorities outside the EU to forge partnerships and share knowledge and good practices across borders. It has set up several international forums such as the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) and the Conference of the Regional and Local Authorities for the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP). The CoR has also established joint consultative committeesand working groups to promote political dialogue with local and regional authorities in accession countries.

ARLEM

The Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) is a permanent, joint assembly which represents the local and regional dimension in the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).

It brings together 80 local and regional representatives from the EU and the Mediterranean partners, and ensures the participation of regional and local authorities in the Euro-Mediterranean political debate.

It also brings the territorial dimension of projects selected by the Secretariat-General of the UfM and ensures the exchange of best practices. ARLEM has observer status in the UfM and participates regularly in Senior Officials Meetings.

 

The 2015-2017 mandate of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) started on 12 February 2015, with the election of the new President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), Markku Markkula, Espoo City Council, Finland.

President Markkula, who acts as the co-president of ARLEM representing the EU group is joined the co-president representing the Mediterranean group, Hani Abdelmasih Al Hayek, Mayor of Beit Sahour, Palestine, who was nominated in December 2014. Mr Markkula and Mr Abdelmasih Al-Hayek will act as co-presidents of ARLEM for the next two and a half years. 

 


EPP-CoR ARLEM Members:

  • Markku MARKKULA (Co-President)
  • Giovanni ARDIZZONE
  • Jacques BLANC
  • Nikola DOBROSLAVIĆ
  • Pedro Antonio SÁNCHEZ LÓPEZ
  • Olgierd GEBLEWICZ
  • Luís GOMES
  • Dimitrios KALOGEROPOULOS
  • Michel LEBRUN
  • Eleni LOUKAIDOU
  • Luc VAN DEN BRANDE

 

CORLEAP

The Conference of Regional and Local Authorities for the Eastern Partnership, also known as “CORLEAP”, is the political forum of local and regional authorities from the European Union and the Eastern Partnership countries. CORLEAP is the only EU platform that offers an opportunity to discuss the contribution by cities and regions in the development of the Eastern Partnership.

CORLEAP consists of 36 regional and local politicians: 18 from the European Committee of the Regions and 18 from the six Eastern Partnership countries. The body is co-chaired by the President of the Committee of the Regions and a representative from the partner countries whom is elected by CORLEAP members each year. The EU is represented by Mr Markku Markkula, the partner countries are represented by Mr Anar Ibrahimov.

Objectives

CORLEAP aims to:

  • Coordinate the representation of the local and regional authorities within the Eastern Partnership;
  • complement and support the effort by the EU institutions and other participating stakeholders in delivering the European Neighbourhood Policy;
  • spread the concepts that will bring partner countries closer to the EU and foster the internal reform and capacity building at the local and regional level.

 


EPP-CoR CORLEAP Members:

  • Markku MARKKULA (Co-President)
  • Gheorghe FALCĂ
  • Roman LÍNEK
  • Pascal MANGIN
  • Paweł ADAMOWICZ
  • Pauliina HAIJANEN

Joint Consultative Committees and Working Groups currently in the CoR

Institutional context

The CoR’s official position on enlargement is primarily prepared by the CIVEX commission and adopted by the Plenary Assembly, through opinions on the European Commission’s enlargement package. In this context, the Joint Consultative Committees (JCCs) and Working Groups (WGs) play an active supporting role in contributing to the work of the Bureau, of the CIVEX members and of its Rapporteurs by informing on the results of the debates during the meetings with the partner countries.

Working Groups (WGs) are composed only of members of the CoR. They are created directly by a decision of the CoR Bureau in accordance with the CoR Rules of Procedure . The participation of local and regional representatives from the partner countries in meetings of the Working Groups varies according to the topics discussed and the place of the meeting. The Working Groups usually constitute a contact point with the LRAs of the partner countries and are used as a tool to deepen specific bilateral/multilateral issues.

Joint Consultative Committees (JCCs) are created between the Committee of the Regions and local and regional representatives of the candidate countries for EU accession following a request from the government of the partner country concerned and on the basis of the provisions set down in the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) or in an official declaration of the Stabilisation and Association Council between the Council of the European Union and the candidate country.

They are composed of an equal number of CoR members (and replacement members) and local and regional representatives from the partner country. JCCs are co-chaired by a CoR member and a member from the partner country, and decisions are taken jointly. Furthermore, the functioning of the JCCs is regulated by the “Rules of Procedures” adopted within each JCC.

Given the stability of their membership, JCCs allow for a consistent and stable cooperation with local and regional authorities of the partner country, offering increased co-ownership, and ensuring a more proactive role for the representatives of the partner country. The JCCs have an important role in promoting dialogue and cooperation between LRAs in the EU and in the candidate countries.

montenegro

JCC Montenegto

Joint Consultative Committee with Montenegro

The Bureau of the Committee of the Regions approved setting up of a Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) between the Committee of the Regions and Montenegro in March 2011 an the decision of the EU – Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Council followed on 21 June 2011.

The overall strategy and operational proposals, discussed at its inaugural meeting in November 2012, were the basis for the work programme established in July 2013. The activities of the JCC closely follow the enlargement process and the progress of the negotiations leading to Montenegro’s accession to the EU. They focus on the territorial dimension of the EU acquis and on the areas of particular relevance to the development of local and regional authorities. They allow exchange of best practice in specific fields of cooperation.

The key topics include access to EU funds, in particular under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II) at regional and local level, devolution and decentralisation (including fiscal decentralisation), regional and cross-border cooperation, fundamental rights, good governance and transparency, public administration reform and capacity building.


EPP-CoR Members:

  • Arnoldas ABRAMAVIČIUS
  • Mauro D’ATTIS
  • Jelena DRENJANIN

EPP-CoR Alternate Members:

  • Nikolaos CHIOTAKIS
  • Isidoro GOTTARDO
  • Anton KOKALJ

 

macedonia

JCC FYROM

Joint consultative committee with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)

A Joint Consultative Committee between the CoR and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was set up by the CoR Bureau on 3 March 2008, with a view to encouraging better integration of the territorial dimension in the enlargement process. Its establishment decided during the fourth meeting of the EU – former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Stabilisation and Association Council Brussels, 24 July 2007 : “The SA Council expressed support for the request made by the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to create Joint Consultative Committees with the EU’s Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of Regions respectively”.

The Joint Consultative Committee prepares the ground for the enlargement of the European Union by promoting political dialogue and cooperation between the regional and local authorities in the European Union and their counterparts in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Through this JCC, CoR members have access to an appropriate framework for establishing guidelines and policy aims with respect to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and to benefit from the support of a forum for dialogue with their local and regional authorities.


EPP-CoR Members:

  • Ondřej BENEŠÍK
  • József RIBÁNYI
  • Ivan ŽAGAR

EPP-CoR Alternate Members:

  • Mihkel JUHKAMI
  • Alin-Adrian NICA
  • Spyros SPYRIDON
serbia

JCC Serbia

Joint Consultative Committee with Serbia

During its 153rd meeting held on 24 June 2014, the Committee of the Regions Bureau decided to set up a Joint Consultative Committee with Serbia  on the basis of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement  between the European Union and its Member States, on the one hand, and Serbia, on the other hand.

The JCC’s will reinforce the CoR’s longstanding action in favour of greater inclusion of the territorial dimension in the stabilisation and association process for South Eastern Europe and of a political dialogue between the EU’s local and regional authorities and their Serbian counterparts.

The inaugural meeting of the JCC could be organised in the first half of 2015, following the designation of the members and the co-Chairs, in cooperation with the Serbian counterparts.


EPP-CoR Members:

  • Dimitrios KALOGEROPOULOS
  • Alin-Adrian NICA

EPP-CoR Alternate Members:

  • Isidoro GOTTARDO
  • Adam STRUZIK
turkey

WG Turkey

Working group on Turkey

The Working Group with Turkey was created by the CoR Bureau on 5 December 2006, in order to provide CoR members with a forum for dialogue with the Turkish sub-national authorities.

The Working Group strives to foster inter-institutional cooperation as well as cooperation between local and regional authorities in Turkey and the EU. In addition, the Working Group contributes to the work of the CoR/CIVEX Rapporteurs responsible for drafting the CoR’s position on enlargement through in-depth and inclusive debate.

As part of its strategy on enlargement, the CoR has called for the establishment of a Joint Consultative Committee involving its own representatives and representatives of Turkish local and regional authorities.


EPP-CoR Members:

  • Csaba BORBOLY
  • António BRAGANÇA FERNANDES
  • Heinz LEHMANN

EPP-CoR Alternate Members:

  • Nikolaos CHIOTAKIS
  • Pauliina HAIJANEN
  • Mihkel JUHKAMI
  • Roberto PELLA
eu-flag

WG Western Balkans

Working group on the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo [under UNSCR 1244])

The Working Group (WG) on the Western Balkans was created in 2006. It currently includes Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244). Its role is to provide CoR members with an instrument aimed at encouraging greater inclusion of the territorial dimension in the enlargement process for the Western Balkans region.

The WG also contributes to the CoR’s involvement in inter-institutional cooperation in this field, while maintaining political dialogue between the EU’s local and regional authorities and their Western Balkan counterparts. In addition, the WG contributes to the work of the CoR Rapporteurs responsible for setting out the CoR’s position through an in-depth and inclusive debate. It consists of twelve CoR members, meets twice a year and operates on a country-by-country approach, ensuring that each meeting is dedicated to a specific Western Balkan country.


EPP-CoR Members:

  • Franz SCHAUSBERGER (Chair)
  • Nikola DOBROSLAVIĆ
  • Tanya HRISTOVA

EPP-CoR Alternate Members:

  • Jelena DRENJANIN
  • Pauliina HAIJANEN
  • Željko TURK
  • Adam STRUZIK