“The Congress and the EU Committee of the Regions were created to give a voice to local and regional representatives in the European construction,” underlined Congress Secretary General Andreas Kiefer at the Conference on “20 years of the Congress and the Committee of the Regions”, in Innsbruck, Austria. However, the challenge now is to put into practice the legal framework established over the past two decades, he said, adding the we cannot respond to today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions and with theory alone. “We must go beyond mere standard-setting and political declarations. We need concrete follow-up action to be successful. We need democratic commitment by local and regional politicians that goes beyond lip service. Most importantly, we need that people, our citizens, see this commitment in action. We need to regain their trust, to restore public confidence in politicians and institutions of governance,” stressed the Secretary General.