The Committee of the Regions (CoR) is an EU advisory body composed of locally and regionally elected representatives coming from all 28 Member States. Through the CoR they are able to share their opinion on EU legislation that directly impact regions and cities.
What does the CoR do?
The CoR gives regions and cities a formal say in EU law-making ensuring that the position and needs of regional and local authorities are respected.
-If this is not done, the CoR can bring a case before the Court of Justice;
-Once the CoR receives a legislative proposal, it prepares and adopts an opinion and circulates it the relevant EU institutions;
-The CoR also issues opinions on its own initiative.
The CoR members are elected representatives serving in local or regional authorities. Each country nominates members of its choice who are appointed for a renewable five-year terms by the Council of the EU. The number of members per country depends on the size of that country's population.
Members from one country form the National Delegation which reflects the political, geographical, regional and local balance of their country.
Each member can also choose to be part of a political group in the CoR. Currently there are five political groups reflecting a range of political affiliations: European People's Party (EPP), Party of European Socialists (PES), Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), European Alliance Group (EA) and European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR). Members can also choose to not be part of a politically party if they so wish (Non-aligned).
The CoR appoints a President from among its members for a two-and-a-half-year term.
How does the CoR work?
The CoR appoints a rapporteur (one of its members) who consults stakeholders and prepares the opinion. The text is discussed and adopted by the CoR commission in charge of the policy area concerned. The opinion is then presented to all members in plenary session who vote to amend and adopt it. Finally, the opinion is shared and communicated to all relevant EU institutions.
There are up to 6 plenary sessions per year, adopting opinions that cover 50 to 80 EU legislative projects.
The CoR and you
The CoR encourages participation at all levels, from regional and local authorities to individual citizens. Regional and local authorities, associations, NGOs, experts and academics can take part in online surveys, consultations and events. European Entrepreneurial Region Awards are open to all regions with political competencies, while thesis competitions are open to academics.
The CoR has set up a number of networks to enable all EU regions and cities to exchange best practices, work together and contribute to the EU debate on topics such as growth and employment, fight against climate change, cross-border cooperation, development and subsidiarity.
Local and regional authorities can also sign the Charter for Multilevel Governance in Europe which contributes to publicising the legitimacy and responsibility of cities and regions in the implementation of EU public policies.