Nearly 140 supporters have already signed up to the Charter for multilevel governance in Europe, launched last April by the Committee of the Regions, and the European Commissioner for regional policy, Johannes Hahn.
The charter was adopted by the Committee of the Regions last April, and is a political manifesto wherein the EU's regions and towns call on all public authorities to mainstream multilevel governance throughout the process of shaping and implementing European policies. In order to achieve this, activities will need to be carried out in partnership by the various tiers of government (local, regional, national and European) and a set of principles to make the policy-making process more effective (including participation, cooperation, subsidiarity and transparency) will have to be implemented.
The charter can be accessed online and signed electronically by local and regional authorities at: www.cor.europa.eu/mlgcharter
To date, nearly 140 authorities have signed up to the charter. Among those is East Riding of Yorkshire Councillor Dee Sharpe (UK/ECR).
Several national and European associations of local and regional authorities have expressed official support for the initiative, including the Assembly of European Regions, the Conference of European Regional Legislative Parliaments, the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions and the Association of Local Democracy Agencies.
Key political figures at national and European level have also voiced their support, including José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, who is expected to take up the reins as future Commission president, Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for regional policy, Janusz Lewandowski, Commissioner for the budget, and Angel Gurria, Secretary-General of the OECD, along with Members of the European Parliament and European political group presidents.
What is it intended to achieve?
By signing up to the charter, supporters undertake to work towards the following goals:
- implement multilevel governance to encourage a European mindset in their region or town;
- promote cross-border cooperation with other regions or towns;
- bring their administration up to date by making full use of digital solutions, improving transparency and openness and providing high-quality, readily accessible public services;
- promote participation by the general public and civil society in the decision-making process and thereby develop participatory democracy.
What are the advantages?
By signing up, supporters ensure that any initiatives they implement in line with the charter's principles will be more widely known. These initiatives will be given a prominent position on the charter's website and during events targeting local and regional authorities, Member States and the European institutions.
The charter's website and these events will act as platforms for:
- recording good practice and innovative projects set up by other supporters;
- looking for potential partners for joint initiatives;
- shaping and monitoring EU policies at both local and regional level and in cooperation with the European institutions.