The European Union's Committee of the Regions, a special partner for the Congress
Mercedes Bresso, President of the EU Committee of the Regions, adresses Congress members during the 19th Session in October 2010

A co-operation agreement was signed in 2005 by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and the Committee of the Regions of the European Union. The fields of interest and methods of co-operation of the two institutions were formalised in 2009, on the basis of the more general memorandum of understanding concluded in 2007 between the Council of Europe and the European Union.

The cooperation agreement reaffirms, in particular, the principle of complementarity between the Congress and the Committee of the Regions, as well as mutual respect for their skills. The political direction of this cooperation, as well as its major themes, are agreed once per year at a meeting of the Secretaries General  of the Congress and the CoR.

A ''contact group'' between the Congress and Committee of the Regions
 
The Contact Group of  the Congress and the Committee of the Regions meets twice per year. Comprising six political representatives from each institution, it is responsible for preparing and steering the work programme, on the basis of  priorities set.  This programme is then implemented jointly by the respective committees, commissions and working groups of the Congress and CoR.

Different forms of  co-operation

Local election observation missions carried out by the Congress have been open to members of the Committee of  the Regions since 2006. Congress observation delegations now systematically include members of the Committee of the Regions - who are involved  throughout the observation process.

Inter-regional cooperation in the Black Sea area, multilevel governance and local and regional democracy in "Eastern Partnership" countries have also been the subject of consultative meetings between the two organisations.

Countering corruption at the level of local and regional administrations is also a common priority  - an activity first launched at a joint Conference in Messina (Italy) in May 2010.