It is clear that there must be meaningful participation of regions with legislative powers in the CoFoE to ensure that all levels of government are represented in shaping the future of our Union.
The COVID pandemic has made the call for transformative policies to respond to the needs of European citizens more relevant than ever. In this sense, regions with legislative powers are essential when deliberating, making decisions and committing themselves as agents of political transformation, in the interests of the citizens to achieve the digital and sustainable transformations.
In order to ensure adequate representation of all levels of government, new channels have to be established. For this purpose, RLEG requests to participate in the Conference on the Future of Europe by including representatives of the regions with legislative powers in the plenary body, as well as in the decision-making and governance of the implementation process of the CoFoE outcomes.
RLEG calls for effective multilevel governance in the EU by offering co-responsibility in the integration process, thus ensuring the precise application of the decentralised dimension of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.
It also encourages and commits to engage systematically in a structured dialogue between the EU institutions and the RLEG. This dialogue must be inspired by pragmatism and long-term vision.
In practice, RLEG call for the organisation of a high-level debate on effective multi-level governance and the setting up of a working group to analyse a unique status, such as “Partner regions inside the EU”, for enhanced and structural cooperation with Regions with legislative powers,following a proposal by former MEP Alain Lamassoure during the last Convention.
In addition, the impact of EU policies and legislation on regions with legislative powers, including budgetary and administrative impact, among others, should be analysed.
However, despite the general welcome from the EU federal Member States, some Member States showed strong opposition and these proposals were rejected. It is fair to recognize that since the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, improvements have been made in the EU’s recognition of the regions, but we are still a long way from effective multi-level governance. We believe that the time has come for the regions with legislative powers that are prepared to promote the EU’s integration process through a shared responsibility to become active subjects of the process. In this regard, we consider it opportune to explore the virtuality offered by the status of the associated region proposed by Mr Lamassoure as a starting point for the process of reflection that we are proposing.