Following the Rome Treaty’s 60th anniversary celebrations and the publication of the European Commission’s White Paper on the Future of Europe , members of the European Committee of the Regions’ Commission for Citizenship, Governance, Institutional and External Affairs (CIVEX) debated yesterday the issues at stake in the elaboration of a new vision for Europe, from the perspective of regions and cities. Participants to the debate, including European Commission representatives, insisted that the consultation process was as essential as the final outcome and that cities and regions were crucial in driving this wide-ranging exercise forward.

As part of the ongoing political reflection on the future of Europe, European Council president Tusk has asked the CoR to send its recommendations on the future of Europe through the voice of cities and regions. The CoR position will draw from a wide-ranging consultation process called “Reflecting on Europe“, mostly in the form of citizens’ dialogues and town hall debates, to collect citizens’ concerns and expectations at the grassroots. The opinion, whose adoption is planned for mid-2018, will be prepared by CoR President Markkula and First Vice-President Lambertz. Yesterday’s debate aimed at taking stock of the preparatory process, discuss the latest input from the European Commission, and encourage CoR members to further engage in citizens’ dialogues in their constituencies. In a second request, the European Commission has invited the CoR to draft an Outlook Opinion, based on the White Paper, and the ideas and priorities of Europe’s regions and cities for the future development of our Union.

EPP Group members took an active part in the debate:

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