Appeal by local and regional elected representatives and their representative organisations to the governments of the 15 Member States
In December 1995, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions launched a large-scale campaign, calling upon local and regional elected representatives to take action in anticipation of the Intergovernmental Conference. The CEMR Appeal adopted in Valencia was given wide distribution across Europe for cities and regions to sign.
The Valencia Appeal calls upon the IGC to work towards bringing Europe closer to its citizens, by defining basic rights for European citizens, clarifying how European institutions work, and by including in the Treaty:
- the fundamental principles of the European Charter of Local Self-Government;
- a broader expression to the subsidiarity/proximity principle which recognises the place of local and regional authorities;
- the principles for building up a partnership between the different levels of authority (local, regional, national and European);
- greater structural autonomy and a guarantee of the democratic legitimacy of the Committee of the Regions and of the Local Authorities of the European Union which must become an Institution of the Union.
To date, the Appeal has attracted over 2,500 signatures, many of these from main cities and regions across Europe.
On Friday, 14 June in Rome, a few days before the Florence Summit began, the 2,500 signatures received so far were solemnly handed over to Romano PRODI, President of the Italian Council holding the Presidency of the Union, by Pasqual Maragall, President of the CEMR, Mayor of Barcelona and President of the Committee of the Regions, together with Elisabeth Gateau, Secretary-General of CEMR.
In December 1996, as the 15 Member State governments were meeting in Dublin for the European Summit, CEMR published the Appeal together with the names of some signatories in some of the most widely read newspapers in the European Union.
WE, THE MAYORS AND POLITICAL LEADERS OF CITIES AND MUNICIPALITIES, PRESIDENTS OF COUNTIES, (DEPARTMENTS, PROVINCES) AND REGIONS OF EUROPE
Welcome the determination of the governments of Europe, shown by the organisation of the Intergovernmental Conference, to continue the construction of the European Union. We believe that Europe can only be built with the full consent and participation of its citizens and with the support of the European Parliament. The European Union must have a strong identity, simple political structures and efficient means as well as open and transparent decision making.
Welcome the advances made in the Treaty on European Union which introduced the concept of European citizenship and recognised the role of local and regional authorities in the formation and the implementation of European policy through the creation of the Committee of the Regions.
We call on the Intergovernmental Conference to use the next stage of European development to bring the Union closer to its citizens by defining their fundamental rights and by clarifying the functioning of European processes, and by including in the Treaty:
- a guarantee of the right of citizens to manage a substantial share of public affairs through locally elected assemblies, by incorporating the principles of the European Charter of Local Self Government;
- a broader expression of the principle of subsidiarity and its application to recognise the place of local and regional government;
- a basis for partnership between the various levels of government where local and regional authorities have responsibility for implementing European policy;
- a greater measure of organisational independence and a guarantee of the democratic legitimacy of the Committee of the Regions which should become an institution with a fair and balanced representation of local and regional authorities in each member state to ensure its effective contribution to European policy-making.
We wish the governments of Europe assembled in the Intergovernmental Conference every success in shaping a future Europe which can advance with the confidence of its people.
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