The Committee of the Regions (CoR)
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The Committee of the Regions in Brussels is an advisory body which represents the interests of regional and local authorities in the European Union.
Established in 1994, the committee influences the decisions taken by local and regional governments, the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the Council of the European Union, protects the interests of local and regional governments, and ensures a more democratic functioning of institutions.
The Commission and the Council instruct the Committee to comment on the following issues, which are of direct interest to local and regional governments:
- Economic and social cohesion (regional policies and structural funds);
- Trans-European transport, telecommunications and energy networks;
- Public health;
- Educational, youth and cultural problems;
- Employment policies, vocational training, and social policies;
- Environmental problems;
- Transportation problems.
The Committee is made up of 350 members representing the regional and local authorities of the 28 Member States of the European Union. Members are appointed for four years. The Committee elects its President from among its members for a term of two years. The plenary is chaired by the assembly’s President and the President represents the Committee abroad.
Committee members, consisting of local administrators or politicians, can be local mayors and lawmakers, who represent a broad range of local government activities in the EU.
After becoming independent with the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1999, the Committee raises local issues related to the Community acquis and works on the subsidiarity principle. Accordingly, the EU does not intervene, except where the law is not more efficient than local or regional rules. The Committee ensures the proper implementation of the acquis while preserving local rules.