European regions to EU leaders: a renewed bottom-up approach to European decision-making process should be a priority

“Respect for the principles of subsidiarity in order to bridge the gap between the EU and its citizens is needed. Local and regional authorities are responsible for the implementation of the majority of EU laws and have valuable first-hand experience of applying EU legislation, in close contact with local businesses, social partners, civil society and citizens,” The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) states in its “Working together to bring the EU closer to its citizens” report.

The Committee of the Regions asks EU leaders to promote active subsidiarity, stressing the importance of engaging national, local and regional authorities at each phase of the EU decision-making process. It argues that that all EU decisions and policies must be anchored locally if it is to strengthen democracy and regain citizens’ trust. 

“At a time when the tide of populism and Euroscepticism is growing it can no longer be business as usual. The EU must become more visible, effective and responsive to citizens’ needs by changing the way it works. This means empowering and engaging the one million local and regional politicians elected across the Member States in the European Union. Cities and regions are a fundamental part of the EU’s democratic foundation on which we must rebuild Europe,” Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the CoR said.

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) is the voice of regions and cities in the European Union (EU). It represents local and regional authorities across the European Union and advises on new laws that have an impact on regions and cities (70% of all EU legislation). The CoR is a political assembly composed of 350 members and 350 alternates from allEU countries (grouped by political party and headed by the President) who have been elected at local or regional level (for example as Mayors or Presidents of a region). They come to Brussels up to six times a year to debate their opinions on proposed legislation and agree on resolutions for further action by the EU.

Cover pic: Angelina Dimitrova @