At the 9th Subsidiarity Conference that took place in Rome on November 22nd, members of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and of the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE) exchanged views on the role of local and regional level in EU decision- and policy-making. CEEP endorses a stronger voice for local and regional authorities within and towards the EU institutions in line with the subsidiarity principle, but also with the importance of carrying out public services missions in a way reflecting local needs and specificities, as provided for by Protocol 26 TFEU.
For several years already, widespread discussions have been taking place concerning the concrete shape and the impact of subsidiarity and proportionality. This debate first occurred within the “Task Force on Subsidiarity, Proportionality and Doing Less More Efficiently” and resulted in the Commission’s Communication on Subsidiarity and Proportionality. One of the discussion’s main conclusions is the recognition that regions and cities deserve a clearer say in EU policymaking. CEEP also joins the event’s organisers in stressing the need to ensure that regions and cities must have the effective capacity and the expertise to deliver their input in practical terms.
We thus clearly welcome the initiative “Input from political debates in regional parliaments” triggered by the CoR and CALRE aimed at strengthening the involvement of regional parliaments with legislative competences early on in the EU legislative process. The project may find useful synergies with the Regional Hubs project launched by the CoR in 2019, which enables 36 European regions to assess the effectiveness of a selected number of EU policies currently implemented, such as public procurement and air quality policies.
These projects, in CEEP’s eyes, also have the added value of paving the way towards more binding steps such as the “Conference on the Future of Europe” mentioned by President-elect Von der Leyen in her Political Guidelines. CEEP will closely follow and participate in this debate in the future.