CEPLI Contribution to the Consultation of European regions and cities "Your voice on Europe 2020"

There is a need to take full account of the local authorities in the process of constructing European strategies such as those for the 2020 period. Above all, European policies are being primarily rolled out in local areas, which must no longer be ignored.

These policies are implemented for the EU's citizens, who are much closer to their local authorities than the EU institutions in terms of understanding and therefore applying these policies.

The Lisbon Treaty which recently came into effect has now given local government a central role in the construction of Europe. It has reaffirmed the need to implement the subsidiarity principle in practice.

The February 2010 Eurobarometer on EU public opinion revealed that the EU public considers local level to be the level with the greatest impact on their living conditions. Moreover, two out of three Europeans (66%) believe that local authorities are not sufficiently taken into account in the process of framing policies within the EU.

For all these reasons, it was appropriate for the CoR, which represents the interests of all tiers of local government, to get involved in the consultation procedure on the EU 2020 strategy.

Nonetheless, the CEPLI regrets that the title of this CoR consultation refers to regions and cities only. There is in fact an urgent need to recognise the vital role played by local intermediate authorities within the various tiers of local government.

It is no longer possible to advocate a role for local government within the system of European governance whilst systematically ignoring a whole political level, that of local intermediate authorities.

CEPLI Contribution to the CoR Consultation on Europe 2020

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Contribution de la CEPLI à la Consultation de CdR sur l'Europe en 2020

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Conférence politique 2016

Publish date: Monday, 26 September 2016

La Confédération européenne des Pouvoirs locaux intermédiaires (CEPLI) a organisé, conjointement avec le Comité des Régions (CdR), sa conférence politique ayant pour thème, « Financer les investissements dans le tourisme afin d’améliorer la compétitivité et l’attractivité des territoires européens » .

Conférence politique 2016
Conférence politique 2016

Monsieur Markkula, Président du CdR, a rappelé, lors de cette conférence politique, la nécessité d’investir et d’utiliser efficacement les fonds européens dédiés au tourisme pour rester la destination privilégiée des touristes.

Suite à la présentation du rapport du Comité des Régions sur le tourisme comme moteur pour la coopération régionale, les différents intervenants ont insisté sur l’importance de ce secteur pour leurs territoires et ont pu échanger sur les stratégies qu’ils mettent en place pour y permettre un développement fructueux d’un tourisme local durable.

Il ressort des discussions et de la présentation de la Banque européenne d’investissements que le financement de projets touristiques, que ce soit en termes d’infrastructures, de mobilité ou de patrimoine, est réalisable et que ces projets peuvent constituer une aubaine pour les autorités locales. Une meilleure coopération entre les acteurs, que ce soit par le biais d’un partenariat avec le privé ou par celui d’une stratégie transfrontalière, est essentielle pour consolider ce marché.

Ces investissements doivent également permettre le développement de zones rurales et plus isolées. Un tourisme de proximité, basé sur une cohabitation entre touristes et habitants, mais aussi épargné par le phénomène de massification, ne sera possible que par des investissements en termes d’accès à ces zones et par une distribution plus équitable des richesses générées par le secteur touristique.

Enfin, l’importance du développement de marques (et, notamment, la marque Ardenne pour nos provinces wallonnes) et d’une stratégie marketing permettant la diversification de l’offre touristique a été répétée par l’ensemble des intervenants. Ces marques mais aussi la spécialisation dans certains domaines (nature, gastronomie, culture,…) et les produits de commercialisation permettent, en effet, d’insérer ces territoires dans le tourisme international et de fidéliser les touristes de passage.

Local Intermediate Authorities in Europe - key actors for the economic development of rural areas

Publish date: Wednesday, 14 October 2015

On 12th of October 2015, the European Confederation of Local Intermediate Authorities (CEPLI) organized an Open Days Side Event on the theme "Provinces reinforcing economic development in rural areas".

Local Intermediate Authorities in Europe - key actors for the economic development of rural areas

Mr Paul-Emile Mottard, president of CEPLI and president of the Association of Walloon Provinces (Belgium), opened the debate by underlining the fact that peri-urban and rural areas benefit from clear potential for growth but they are insufficiently valorised in the current context. The measures that provinces, regardless of their name in Europe (Kreise in Germany, Départements in France, Powiat in Poland or Judeţ in Romania) could take, as legitimate authorities of proximity, have the ability and the means to ensure real sustainable development in full compliance with the objectives of European Union Cohesion Policy. He also pointed out the problems related to unemployment, social exclusion, or the limited dissemination of information technologies and communication facing these rural areas.

The speakers tackled the key issues of rural development and possible solutions implemented in their communities, highlighting the role of local intermediate authorities in supporting and developing economic actions in the benefit of rural areas, especially the initiatives on tourism, cultural heritage, access to broadband, mobility and new opportunities for young people living in these communities:

Mrs Ana-Claudia Tapardel, MEP (video message), stressed the importance of solidarity in order to reduce the gap between rural and urban areas and thus preserve the European lifestyle and objectives. Indeed, it is by working together and speaking with one voice that we can implement policies adapted to the challenges faced nowadays by rural areas.

Mr. Robert Meureau, President of the Rural Foundation Wallonia, has meanwhile raised the need of citizens’ participation in the monitoring of rural development policies. The provinces are, in fact, facilitators allowing to different actors to interact and converge their communities’ rural development programs. He also pointed out the importance of waterway tourism that allows the link between rural and urban areas in the Province of Liege (Belgium), for example.

Mr. Alin-Adrian Nica, Chairman of the Romanian delegation to the Committee of the Regions and mayor of a rural community, stressed the importance of multilevel governance and, first of all, cooperation between local, regional and national authorities. He then mentioned two examples of good practice in his rural community: one related to regeneration in his rural community, by transforming some communist farms in an area of production and services, the headquarters of one of the largest furniture factories in the country; the other, related to an European funded project promoted by the province, through which 14 rural authorities will benefit from ICT facilities and broadband, in order to ensure the standardization of the necessary software for documents management, farm registry and local taxes.

Mr. Alessandro Pastacci, member of the Italian delegation to the CoR and president of the Mantova province, reported on the reform of the provinces in Italy, through which some provinces disappear. However, the Italian provinces are increasingly called upon to support local communities; they provide an important networking centre aimed to solve the urgent problems and needs of rural communities, being the closest level of governance to rural authorities. He then gave an example related to the fight of provinces against school dropout, and he also stressed the importance of sustainable mobility and tourism.

Finally, Mr Pierre-Bernard Van Acker, coordinator Hageland-LEADER (Belgium), presented the Hageland programme, in the Flemish Brabant region. The province, having an overall view on local communities, was able to propose projects and played an important role in the regional branding of Hageland, as well as in the involvement of neighbouring towns and the University of Leuven in this program. In fact, Hageland-LEADER programme means a multi sector regional development plan, multi stakeholders approach and large participation of inhabitants.

An interactive debate, moderated by Mr Dan Luca, senior director to Euractiv Media-Brussels, turned into a real exchange of views and experiences between participants.

Several initiatives and concerns were then presented, among which:

  • the agricultural diversification in the province of Brabant Walloon, where the province promoted the cooperation between supermarkets and small producers, allowing in this way an easier access to diversification to small producers;
  • the increased presence of young people in some Italian rural areas, being more present in universities, agricultural research and gastronomy;
  • the problems related to food imports in Romania while its regions are very fertile, being therefore necessary to set up local producer groups in order to have more weight and visibility; nevertheless, a qualified local workforce is becoming more present and industries begin to settle in these rural areas;
  • a representative of the Committee of the Regions’ NAT Commission pointed to the problem of training in rural areas. She noted that many jobs remain unfilled because there is no skilled labour. It is therefore essential to balance the supply of training and rebuild collaborative training programs aimed to rural areas with companies.

The President concluded by stressing three major challenges:

  • tourism, as a vehicle for economic development, represents a considerable advantage as it cannot be relocated;
  • unemployment, especially in the case of young people, noting that there are differences between Member States and also within Member States. The fight against school dropout and the development of training are two simple solutions for unemployment;
  • the significant engagement of intermediate levels in local community problems, CEPLI being keen to participate in the work of the CoR in order to contribute to the works designed to address these problems;
  • through their actions and projects intended to rural communities, provinces fight also against social and territorial division ensuring access to basic services and shared facilities for all.

The debate was attended by 52 politicians, experts, representatives of civil society and local communities from Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Spain.

CEPLI Open Days Side Event

CEPLI Open Days Side Event

Provinces reinforcing economic development in rural areas


12th of October 2015, 10:30 - 12:30
European Confederation of Local Intermediate Authorities (CEPLI)
24, Rue Montoyer - 1000 Brussels

ONLINE REGISTRATION: http://cepli.eu/register

The rural and urban development of our territories is a priority of the European Union Cohesion Policy. The provinces are contributing to it as they provide the link between rural and urban areas.

The aim of this debate is to highlight some actions that provinces can take in order to strengthen growth in rural areas.

The session will address several topics, including examples by which provinces support and strengthen the economic activities in rural areas, such as tourism development, preservation and enhancement of local heritage or accompanying rural development initiatives.

By their action, provinces also fight against territorial and social division by ensuring access to common services and facilities for all.
Detailed programme - download the attached document.

Interpretation: English, French, Italian and Romanian

The debate will be followed by a networking buffet-lunch.

Contact: liliana.mangeac@uncjr.org; bruno.deviron@apw.be

For further information requests, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Les Présidents du Comité des Régions et de la CEPLI conviennent de renforcer leurs collaborations à l'avenir

Publish date: Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Ce mercredi 25 juin, le Président de la CEPLI, Monsieur Paul-Emile Mottard, a rencontré Monsieur Markku Markkula, le Président du Comité des Régions pour discuter du rôle des pouvoirs locaux intermédiaires en Europe et de la volonté de renforcer les collaborations entre la CEPLI et le CdR.

Monsieur Paul-Emile Mottard a souligné l'engagement de la CEPLI à collaborer à la mise en œuvre des priorités définies par le Comité des Régions pour son sixième mandat, en accordant une attention toute particulière au renforcement de la dimension territoriale des politiques et projets européens.

Monsieur Markkula a souligné l'importance de garantir la diversité des niveaux de pouvoirs représentant la démocratie locale. Il a encouragé la CEPLI à collaborer aux travaux de la Commission CIVEX sur les analyses d'impact territorial. Il a examiné avec beaucoup d'intérêt l'étude comparative sur les compétences des pouvoirs locaux et régionaux réalisée par la CEPLI, estimant que ce travail pouvait être très utile pour la Commission CIVEX.

Messieurs Markku Markkula et Paul-Emile Mottard ont également abordé les questions relatives au Plan d'investissement pour l'Europe (Plan Juncker) pour lequel il est indispensable de permettre à tous les acteurs locaux, de grande et petite taille, de trouver leur place.

La CEPLI a un rôle à y jouer pour apporter la sensibilité des pouvoirs locaux intermédiaires et témoigner des projets menés à l'échelon local entre autorités publiques et secteur privé.

Le Président Markkula s'est montré très intéressé par le retour d'information que peut lui apporter la CEPLI concernant les réalités, parfois diverses, qui existent localement pour la mise en application des projets et programmes européens.

* * * 

The Presidents of the Committee of Regions and CEPLI agree strengthen their collaboration in the future

This Wednesday, June 25, the President of the CEPLI, Paul-Emile Mottard, met the President of the Committee of the Regions, Mr Markku Markkula, to discuss the role of intermediate local authorities in Europe and will strengthen collaborations between CEPLI and the CoR.

Mr. Paul-Emile Mottard stressed the commitment of the CEPLI to collaborate in the implementation of the priorities set by the CoR to his sixth term, paying particular attention to the strengthening of the territorial dimension of European policies and projects .

Mr Markkula stressed the importance of ensuring the diversity of levels of authority representative local democracy. He encouraged CEPLI to collaborate in the work of the CIVEX Commission on analyzes territorial impact. He examined with great interest the comparative study on the competencies of local and regional authorities realized by CEPLI, believing that this work could be very useful for the CIVEX Commission.

Markku Markkula gentlemen and Paul-Emile Mottard also discussed issues related to Investment Plan for Europe (Map Juncker) for which it is essential to allow all local stakeholders, large and small, to find their place .

CEPLI has a role to play to make the sensitivity of local intermediate authorities and testify projects at the local level between public authorities and private sector.

President Markkula was very interested in feedback that can give him CEPLI about the realities sometimes different, which exist locally for the implementation of European projects and programs.

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