Nyon, Vaud (CH), 27 October 2000
At its meeting in Nyon, the political Bureau of the Assembly of European Regions (AER) debated the draft reform of the European Institutions in the context of the Intergovernmental Conference. This reform is indispensable to Union enlargement which has become a political necessity for applicant countries and for the Union itself.
Conscious of the fact that it would be become more and more difficult to make unanimous decisions, the AER Bureau recognised that in the future qualified majority voting would be necessary for the progress of Europe. However, the Bureau feels that as long as no clear definition of competences of the European institutions exists, drawn up on the basis of the principle of subsidiarity, unanimous voting must be maintained in order to respect the current priorities of numerous European Regions, in particular in the field of culture, education and training, and in this way encourage their participation in European decisions.
The Bureau felt that this IGC was merely the first step towards an indepth reform which would take the interests of all governance levels in Europe into account. “The European Council in Nice must make a decision on the continuation of reforms aiming to simplify the Treaties, the inclusion of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights in the body of Treaties which constitutes a united Europe and a completely new definition of competences. The calendar and the direction to take must clearly appear in the outcome of the current Intergovernmental Conference” said Luc Van den Brande, AER President.
The following appeared among the main AER demands:
– the Committee of the Regions (CoR) should become a fully fledged body of the European Union with the right to appear in a legal court of justice in order to defend its own rights, as well as the right to question its members on affairs with a regional aspect;
– the right for the Regions with legislative powers to represent themselves within the Court of Justice of the European Communities.
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