This is the key message which the Assembly of European Regions has addressed to the members of the European Convention through its Vice-President Lambert Van Nistelrooij, at the hearing organised in Brussels today (25th June).
“From the point of view of the regions and local authorities, the objective of the Convention must be a constitutional treaty which creates a union of states, that associates regional and local authorities to the definition and the implementation of policies” pointed out Mr Van Nistelrooij.
“On the basis of the existing treaties and in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, this treaty should summarise the competencies of the EU, which it needs in order to achieve its goals and values. In such a distribution of competencies, we recommend that central areas of responsibilities of the member states should be protected in order to improve clarity. Above all these would include the internal structure of the Member States, including the regional structures and local selfgovernment… We also recommend that the exercise of competencies be governed by the principle of limited empowerment and the principle of subsidiarity, where in future the regions and local authorities should be mentioned, and the principle of proportionality” he added.
“Concerning the principle of subsidiarity whose application the treaties currently limit to the relation between the EU and member states (Art. 5.2 of the EC Treaty), we demand that this principle be explicitly applied in the constitutional treaty with regard to the regions and local authorities, and enforced by a system of control” Mr Van Nistelrooij underlined, while proposing the creation of a working group on the regional and subregional dimension within the European Convention.
In the document “Contribution from the AER in view of the hearing at the European Convention”, the organisation representing European regions expressed a series of other proposals including the improvement of the European Parliament’s rights to collaboration and the reinforcement of the role of the Committee of the Regions.
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