President Barroso meets local and regional networks


European Commission president José Manuel Barroso today met representatives from EU local and regional networks to take stock of the cooperation established under the two Barroso mandates and discuss how it could work in the future.

Representatives from seven major EU local and regional associations today met the European Commission president, the Committee of the Regions president and its vice president as part of an annual ‘structured dialogue’ to improve relations between the EU and local and regional authorities.

José Manuel Barroso, Commission president; Michel Lebrun, CoR president; and Catiuscia Marini, CoR first vice president, met representatives including EUROCITIES treasurer and mayor of Ghent, Daniël Termont, to discuss the potential development of cooperation between the Commission president and the presidents of associations when the new European Commission takes office.

The meeting, which was also attended by the presidents of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR), the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR), the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE), and the Conference of European Regions with Legislative Powers (REGLEG), took place over lunch.

The presidents’ talks revolved around the main challenges that the new Commission would have to tackle. Representing EUROCITIES, Daniël Termont underlined employment as a key issue throughout Europe, and one that will depend on cities to be probably addressed. Highlighting the fact that cities can implement policies better tailored to individual needs and can test innovative approaches to fight unemployment, the mayor of Ghent asked for both the Europe 2020 strategy and EU funding programmes to recognise and support the role of cities in fighting unemployment. 

The hearings of the European commissioners-designate should take place in the European parliament between 29 September and 3 October. The outcome of these hearings should be known by 9 October, and if all commissioners are approved, they should take office on 1 November for the five-year mandate of president-elect, Jean-Claude Juncker.