The EU Treaties oblige the European Commission, European Parliament and the Council of Ministers to request opinions from the CoR whenever new proposals are made in areas which have an effect on local and regional levels.
These opinions are used to influence the policies proposed by the other European Institutions so that they are best adapted to the reality on the ground and also serve to inform policy-makers of the regional and local impact.
- Writing opinions
The CoR appoints a rapporteur who is responsible for drafting the opinion.
Subjects where consultation is necessary include
• climate change
• cross border co-operation issues
• economic and social cohesion
• public health
• social policy
• trans-European networks
• vocational training
In addition, the CoR can be requested to produce an opinion where the Treaty does not oblige consultation if there is an important regional or local implication or if the European Commission considers that the CoR has an important competence, knowledge and expertise in a certain field.
Finally, the CoR has the right to prepare an own-initiative opinion on any subject where it deems it important to consider the role/impact on local and regional authorities. This enables the institution to place specific issues of regional importance on the EU agenda.
The opinion is discussed in one of the 6 thematic Commissions
Citizenship, governance, institutional and external affairs (CIVEX)
Territorial cohesion policy (COTER)
Economic and social policy (ECOS)
Education, youth and research (EDUC)
Environment, climate change and energy (ENVE)
Natural resources (NAT)
Once accepted by all members at Plenary Session, it is forwarded to the other European Union institutions for their consideration when making policies.