The European Union's Committee of the Regions, a special partner for the Congress
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 Congress and the Committee of the Regions meet annually as a High Level Group, composed of the President of the Congress, the Presidents of its two Chambers, the President of the Committee of the Regions as well as its 1st Vice-President and President of the CIVEX. The Group maintains the dialogue between the two institutions and sets the thematic priorities for cooperation.
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.
Good governance, interregional cooperation and local and regional democracy in particular 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.