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Major success for CoR and EA group as locally and regionally determined contributions get featured in the COP 23 final declaration http://web.cor.europa.eu/ea/News/Pages/Major-success-CoR-EA-group-locally-regionally-determined-contributions-featured-COP-23-final-declaration-.aspx2017-11-11T23:00:00ZMajor success for CoR and EA group as locally and regionally determined contributions get featured in the COP 23 final declaration <p style="text-align:justify;">​EA members Cllr Andrew Cooper and Cllr Enda Stenson were part of the COR delegation, led by President Karl Heinz Lambertz, which took part in the 23rd Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC (COP23).</p><p style="text-align:justify;">On 12 November CoR members participated in the Climate Summit of local and regional leaders where all parties, region and cities across the world, as well as international organisations  such as ICLEI and Climate Alliance to name a few, agreed  a final declaration which stipulates the establishment of Locally- and Regionally-determined contributions (LDCs) to help national governments achieve existing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) . Cllr Andrew Cooper, EA coordinator in the ENVE commission and member of Kirklees County Council, who took the initiative of setting up the concept of LDCs as a way to achieve the agreed target under the Paris agreement, called on UNFCC to continue work on its development.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Establishing targets agreed at a local level could give us the boost we need to actually achieve the carbon reductions that need to happen to prevent runaway climate change. LDCs also give us the opportunity to make action on Climate Change more relevant to citizens as they see action at the local level led by their Local or Regional Authority", said Cllr Cooper.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">A global system of LDCs is a huge opportunity for local and regional authorities all across the globe. For Mayors in the USA, for example, it provides a Framework to get involved in the delivery of the UNFCC targets. For smaller municipalities which are not engaged with bodies such as the Global Covenant of Mayors it gives an opportunity to contribute to the Paris goals.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">On 13 November members took part in a conference on Transatlantic Dialogue on Climate Change with the US conference of Mayors and the Canadian municipalities. Members committed to champion the Covenant of Mayors initiative within and beyond the EU as a prime model of multi-level governance for climate objectives.<br></p>
Truskolaski calls for continued support to SMEs beyond 2020http://web.cor.europa.eu/ea/News/Pages/Truskolaski-calls-for-continued-support-to-SMEs-beyond-2020.aspx2017-11-08T23:00:00ZTruskolaski calls for continued support to SMEs beyond 2020<p style="text-align:justify;">​At the last meeting of the CoR's Commission for Economic Policy (ECON), members adopted two opinions: "Deepening of the EMU by 2025" and "Future of COSME programme beyond 2020".</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mr Tadeusz Truskolaski, EA coordinator for the ECON Commission and CoR rapporteur on the start-up and scale-up initiative, said that it is very important that LRAs ensure a stable support to small and medium-sized entreprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs beyond 2020 through instruments of support for SME competitiveness, such as the current COSME programme. "That is why we requested that particular care should be taken to ensure that this programme's successor addresses the funding needs of the entire spectrum of SMEs in different regions, including traditional SMEs,  self-entrepreneurs,  micro-enterprises and high-growth start-ups and scale-ups" Mr Truskolaski added.<br></p>
Silberg: EU can learn about tolerance from young people in Bosnia and Herzegovinahttp://web.cor.europa.eu/ea/News/Pages/Silberg-EU-can-learn-about-tolerance-from-young-people-in-Bosnia-and-Herzegovina.aspx2017-10-24T22:00:00ZSilberg: EU can learn about tolerance from young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina<p style="text-align:justify;">​On 24 and 25 October, members of the European Committee of the Regions' (CoR) Working Group on the Western Balkans visited the city of East Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina's Republika Srpska entity.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">CoR members and representatives of local authorities from Bosnia and Herzegovina discussed the best practices and challenges in the use of IPA 2 pre-accession funds in Bosnia and Herzegovina and especially in cross-border cooperation with neighbouring countries.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The members also had a conversation with the students of the University of East Sarajevo where young people from the region shared their concerns and ideas about Europe, Balkans and the EU. EA group was represented at the meeting by Mr Uno Silberg, Member of Kose Municipality Council (Estonia) who encouraged students to seek opportunities and learn from their peers from other parts of Europe. Talking with student representatives, Mr Silberg also said that young people from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Balkans have a lot to teach to people in Europe about multiculturalism, tolerance and life with people of different backgrounds.<br></p>
Vanlouwe calls for dialogue and discussion not jailing democratically elected Catalan leadershttp://web.cor.europa.eu/ea/News/Pages/Vanlouwe-calls-for-dialogue-and-discussion-not-jailing-democratically-elected-Catalan-leaders.aspx2017-11-02T23:00:00ZVanlouwe calls for dialogue and discussion not jailing democratically elected Catalan leaders<p>President of the <span><span>European Alliance group </span></span>in the Committee of the Regions Mr Karl Vanlouwe said the jailing of democratically elected politicians in Spain was politically motivated and unacceptable in a European Union which prides itself on democracy and freedom of speech.</p><p>It is now clear that the Catalan crisis is a European issue and no longer an internal Spanish issue.  Mr Vanlouwe who is also a member of the Flemish Parliament said:  I call on the European Institutions to condemn the latest attempt by the Spanish Government and Courts to supress Catalan Political rights.  All democrats should stand united against the jailing of democratically elected leaders.  The EU cannot ignore these developments in Spain.<br></p>
European Committee of the Regions and the European Commission launch Broadband Platform to help end digital dividehttp://web.cor.europa.eu/ea/News/Pages/European-Committee-of-the-Regions-and-the-European-Commission-launch-Broadband-Platform-to-help-end-digital-divide.aspx2017-10-11T22:00:00ZEuropean Committee of the Regions and the European Commission launch Broadband Platform to help end digital divide<p style="text-align:justify;">​In the presence of European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, the European Committee of the Regions and the European Commission launched a joint platform which aims to deploy high-speed broadband coverage across all European regions, including rural and other disadvantaged areas.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">CoR members and representatives of the European Commission will meet twice a year to share experiences and discuss various challenges related to broadband deployment on the ground, thus making it a truly bottom-up policy process.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Speaking at the launching event, EA group members Cllr Anthony Buchanan (East Renfrewshire, Scotland) and Cllr Kieran McCarthy (Cork City, Ireland) shared experiences from their local communities and outlined ideas on how the goal of covering the entire Europe with fast broadband could be achieved in the next couple of years.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">They stressed the importance of broadband coverage for territorial and social cohesion and sustainability in Europe, while Mr McCarthy particularly noted the new opportunities broadband coverage can create in the development of smart villages, another recent initiative by the European Commission on which the CoR is currently preparing an opinion.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The next meeting of the Broadband Platform will take place in March 2018.<br></p>