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An extraordinary meeting of the Committee of the Regions' Bureau and Special Commission for Institutional Affairs t...
An extraordinary meeting of the Committee of the Regions' Bureau and Special Commission for Institutional Affairs takes place in Dublin on Friday in line with the established practice of arranging a meeting in the country holding the rotating presidency of the EU.

The gathering takes place at the invitation of Tony McKenna, leader of the Irish delegation and CoR vice president. Regional affairs commissioner Monika Wulf-Mathies will take part in the proceedings, which take place under the spotlight of the ongoing IGC negotiations.

CoR president Pasqual Maragall will take advantage of the assembly's visit to Dublin to present the Irish presidency of the European Council with a joint European parliament/CoR declaration on the current revision of the European treaty.

The declaration calls for a number of changes to the treaty with the aim of bringing Europe closer to its citizens by giving global and regional government a greater say in the decision making process. A first draft proposal of the new treaty is expected to be presented for discussion at the EU Dublin summit planned for 13-14 December.

President Maragall will also remind his Irish hosts of the importance of the Structural and Cohesion funds to the success of the European venture, and, looking to the future, will call for a realignment of these funds to serve the regions of Europe most in need of assistance. Later in the day, president Maragall will make a courtesy call on the Irish president, Mary Robinson.

In Dublin, the CoR will be lending its active support to European commission president Jacques Santer's initiative on territorial pacts for employment, which aim to achieve an integrated solution to the problems of unemployment by focusing financial assistance on job creating schemes. At Mr Santer's request the CoR will put forward proposals for the selection criteria of eligible regions and cities.

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