71 regions from across seven Member States of the European Union have governments and directly elected parliaments with law-making powers enshrined in their constitutional order. Furthermore, some regions represent national realities in their institutional order.
Almost 45% of the EU population rely on these regional governments to develop and deliver environmental, economic and social benefits provided by the EU.
Regions with Legislative Powers hold legitimate competencies that are the result of the political and constitutional structures of the Member States, which they are part of. To ensure that these regions can comply with the obligations that come from their constitutional rules, they need to be directly involved in the legislative process and their participation needs to be improved.
VALUE ADDED OF REGIONS WITH LEGISLATIVE POWERS: LEGITIMACY, EFFECTIVENESS PROXIMITY AND EXPERTISE.
According to article 4.2 of the Treaty of the European Union, the European Union must recognise and respect regional self-government:
The Union shall respect the equality of Member States before the Treaties as well as their national identities, inherent in their fundamental structures, political and constitutional, inclusive of regional and local self-government (…).
They have exclusive powers and competences, and, in some cases, constitute the only level of government in a Member State, which has such powers.
RLEG believe that a multilevel governance involving European institutions, Member States and regional and local authorities contribute to build a more effective and more transparent European Union, closer to European citizens and more comprehensible to them.
RLEG are the level of government with law-making powers closest to citizens and whose active role increases transparency, allows for better governance and offers opportunities for democratic involvement in public policy-making. The Governments of these regions hold both political and technical expertise and need to be stronger involved in the entire EU policy cycle. Moreover, better regional data to elaborate and implement EU policies and more regional specific recommendations should be incorporated in the European political process. In this sense, RLEG pro-actively accept their responsibilities and are prepared to work together with Member States and EU institutions to shape and implement, where appropriate, effective policies in the interests of the citizens.