On the occasion of the 34th Congress session, on 27 March 2018, Congress President Gudrun MOSLER-TÖRNSTRÖM and President of the European Committee of the Regions Karl-Heinz LAMBERTZ signed a revised Co-operation Agreement to replace the existing Agreement of 2009. “The Congress and the European Committee of the Regions share the conviction that local and regional governance remains the most viable dimension of European democracy today” stated the Congress President. “Local democracy is a source of energy for the European construction,” added the European Committee of the Regions President. Congress members held an exchange of views on the co-operation between the European Committee of the Regions and the Congress of local and regional authorities. “Since our initial Co-operation Agreement was concluded, we have established a genuine and solid partnership in pursuing common objectives,” added the Congress President. The two institutions work together to drive forward decentralisation and to build citizens’ confidence in territorial governance. They have built practical synergies in the field through co-operation programmes, across the Eastern Partnership in general and in the neighbouring regions such as the South Mediterranean. New challenges arise and the two institutions identified priority areas for co-operation: integration of migrants, fight against radicalisation, strengthening good local governance and combatting corruption, and improving human rights. Gudrun MOSLER-TÖRNSTRÖM welcomed the initiative of Karl-Heinz LAMBERTZ to organise an exchange with the Presidents of the major European Associations to join forces and to implement concrete operational activities. The Congress President also invited the European Committee of the Regions to use its role and position to put the “multi-level governance” on the agenda of the EU institutions as they discuss convergence and cohesion in Europe, with a view of taking the citizens along on the way to develop a common Europe.
Mediabox interview with Mr.Karl-Heinz LAMBERTZ