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CIVEX members discuss enlargement, MFF proposal and the future of Europehttp://web.cor.europa.eu/ea/News/Pages/CIVEX-enlargement-MFF-future-Europe.aspx2018-07-09T22:00:00ZCIVEX members discuss enlargement, MFF proposal and the future of Europe<p style="text-align:justify;">​European Committee of the Regions' (CoR) Commission for Citizenship, Governance, Institutional and External Affairs (CIVEX) held its 19th meeting on 10 July 2018 in Brussels.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The members held an exchange of views on the draft opinion on the European Commission's Enlargement Package 2018 and a debate on the MFF proposal from the perspective of CIVEX commission's remits, especially the proposed Asylum and Migration Fund as well as financial instruments for developing, neighbourhood and enlargement countries.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In the afternoon, the members discussed and adopted draft opinion "Reflecting on Europe: the voice of local and regional authorities to rebuild trust in the European Union." The opinion, drafted upon referral by the President of the European Council Donald Tusk, has been prepared jointly by CoR's President Karl-Heinz Lambertz and First Vice President Markku Markkula and is a product of a number of surveys and debates with citizens across the continent, which have been taking place since 2016. The opinion is set to be adopted at the CoR plenary in October 2018.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">EA group was represented at the meeting by coordinator Dariusz Wróbel, Cllr Anthony Buchanan, Cllr Declan McDonnell, Mr Stanisław Szwabski and Mr Karim Van Overmeire.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"></p>
Committee of the Regions Plenary adopts McCarthy opinion on the Urban Agenda http://web.cor.europa.eu/ea/News/Pages/CoR-Plenary-MCCARTHY-OPINION-URBAN-AGENDA-.aspx2018-07-03T22:00:00ZCommittee of the Regions Plenary adopts McCarthy opinion on the Urban Agenda <p style="text-align:justify;">​On 03 July 2018, the CoR plenary session adopted the opinion drafted by Cork City Councillor Kieran McCarthy on the implementation assessment of the Urban Agenda.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Urban Agenda for the EU seeks to mobilise the experience and expertise of local authorities and enable them to contribute to the development and implementation of EU policies and instruments which most impact cities. It is based on a multi-level governance working method across twelve key urban themes. In November 2017, the European Commission presented its initial assessment of progress and results arising from the first year of the implementation. The local and regional representatives in the CoR are pushing to go a step further.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"The Urban Agenda offers too much potential to improve the way in which our cities will work in future to be restricted to a mere high-quality networking exercise. We need a long-term political commitment and resources to cater to the needs of cities of all sizes . The European Commission's move to dedicate 6% of the European Regional Development Fund to investments in sustainable urban development proposed in the framework for cohesion policy beyond 2020 presented on 29 May is a step in the right direction. The same is true for the European Urban Initiative, a new instrument for city-to-city cooperation, innovation and capacity-building across all the thematic priorities of the Urban Agenda for the EU", said Cork city Councillor Kieran McCarthy.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><a href="https://cor.europa.eu/en/news/Pages/urban-agenda-more-than-networking.aspx">Read more</a>.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"></p>
Committee of the Regions adopts Cllr Cooper opinion on climate governance setting its position ahead of COP24 http://web.cor.europa.eu/ea/News/Pages/Cllr-Cooper-opinion-climate-governance-setting-position-COP24-.aspx2018-07-04T22:00:00ZCommittee of the Regions adopts Cllr Cooper opinion on climate governance setting its position ahead of COP24 <p style="text-align:justify;">​On 5 July the Committee of the Regions adopted the opinion of Cllr Andrew Cooper on climate governance post 2020 that aims to contribute to the UNFCCC COP 24 taking place in Katowice, Poland in December.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Members backed rapporteur Andrew Cooper’s proposal to bridge the current emissions gap through his concept on Locally Determined Contributions (LDCs). Without the formal involvement of local and regional governments, a gap will remain between the announced climate pledges and the achievements needed to keep temperature rise well below 2°C.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Kirklees councillor, Andrew Cooper, declared: "Since the adoption of the Paris agreement, we have seen a rising status for local and regional governments in international climate talks. It is now time to acknowledge multi-level governance and formalise the role of local and regional in global climate governance. Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) fall short in reaching the Paris agreement goals of limiting temperature increase to well below 2 degrees, let alone 1,5.  We propose a system of Locally and Regionally Determined Contributions to complement national pledges</p><p style="text-align:justify;">With regard to dialogues to be established between national and subnational governments, the EA member pointed out that it is crucial that actions undertaken at subnational level is measured and taken into account as " action that is not measured, is not encouraged, nor valued" </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"We certainly welcome dialogues with subnational level of governments as they are of great importance as they allow LRAs to share their ambitions and positions. But dialogues are not monologues. Local governments need to be heard but also need to be responded to. We expect LRAs to be truly involved in the definition of national energy and climate plans and for their contributions to be taken into account in governance of the Energy Union.  Similarly on a global level we believe that  outcomes of the Talanoa Dialogue should make their way through the COP negotiating text and should not be just be a one off, nice story- telling exercise, it should continue beyond COP24".<br></p>
EA/CoR Secondary Schools Competition winners visit the CoR July plenary sessionhttp://web.cor.europa.eu/ea/News/Pages/EA-CoR-Secondary-Schools-Competition-CoR-plenary-2018.aspx2018-07-04T22:00:00ZEA/CoR Secondary Schools Competition winners visit the CoR July plenary session<div style="text-align:justify;"> </div><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span lang="EN-GB">On 4 and 5 July, winners of the 13<sup>th</sup> edition of the EA/CoR Secondary Schools Competition visited Brussels and the plenary session of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR). Twenty seven students aged 14 to 19 and their teachers from eight Member States presented their regions and schools to members of the EA group and later had an opportunity to meet CoR President Mr Karl-Heinz Lambertz.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span lang="EN-GB">The visit to Brussels represents a highlight of the competition which saw students demonstrate their knowledge of the EU through a written multiple-choice test and an essay on 2018 as the European Year of Cultural Heritage.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span lang="EN-GB">In addition to the visit to the CoR, the students also visited the European Parliament, House of the European History and Brussels city centre.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;"><span lang="EN-GB">The EA Group Secondary Schools Competition has been running since 2006. It celebrates the diversity of Europe's regions and gives young students a possibility to see first-hand how EU institutions work and meet their peers from across the continent. This year's participants came from Estonia, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Scotland and Slovakia.</span></p>
"Newcomers must not stay newcomers forever", says Karl Vanlouwe in a debate with the Austrian Presidencyhttp://web.cor.europa.eu/ea/News/Pages/Newcomers-must-not-stay-newcomers-forever-Karl-Vanlouwe-Austrian-Presidency.aspx2018-07-03T22:00:00Z"Newcomers must not stay newcomers forever", says Karl Vanlouwe in a debate with the Austrian Presidency<p style="text-align:justify;">​On 4 July, members of the European Committee of the Regions held a debate with Dr Juliane Bogner-Strauss, Federal Minister for Women, Families and Youth. The debate focused on the priorities of Austria's forthcoming presidency of the Council of the EU which include migration, competitiveness and EU enlargement in the Western Balkans. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Addressing the Minister, EA Group President Mr Karl Vanlouwe highlighted that the protection of EU's borders does not start in the Mediterranean but in the countries from which migrants leave to come to Europe. Therefore, he welcomed the proposed increase in funding for development in the next programming period which should aim to ensure stability and security in the countries of origin and consequently in Europe. However, Mr Vanlouwe added that the integration of legal migrants is equally important as the protection of borders and stressed that European societies should work on making the newcomers their functional members as soon as possible, through language learning and fast integration in the labour market.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Austria took over presidency of the Council of the EU from Bulgaria on 1 July 2018. The country will preside until 31 December 2018 when it will be succeeded by Romania.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"></p>