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