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EU COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR REGIONS AND CITIES IN SPOTLIGHT

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The impact of EU communication policy in Europe's regions and cities will be the main theme of the Committee of the...
The impact of EU communication policy in Europe's regions and cities will be the main theme of the Committee of the Regions' plenary session in Brussels on 14-15 June, with members due to adopt the Bresso Report in response to the European Commission's Plan D (Democracy, Dialogue and Debate) and the white paper on communication policy.

European Commission vice-president Margot Wallstrom, regional policy commissioner Danuta Hubner and Finnish minister of regional and municipal affairs Hannes Manninen have been invited to address the plenary, which will also discuss industrial policy, SME policy, maritime safety, waste recycling, clean transport, protection of minorities, lifelong learning, multilingualism and digital libraries.

Socialist group leader Mercedes Bresso will present her report on Plan D and the white paper during a debate on communication in regions and cities on Thursday. The report argues that local and regional authorities, as the tier of government closest to the citizens, should exercise a greater role in the development and implementation of EU communication strategy and calls for more focus on local and regional media in order to reach out to the wider public and encourage feedback to Brussels.

Click here for draft opinion: http:www.cor.europa.eu/document/Highlight/opinion_bresso.pdf

Ms Wallström will react to the report's proposals and join Mrs Bresso, together with CoR president Michel Delebarre, for a press conference in the European Parliament. The president and commissioner will also take part in a structured dialogue on communication issues with representatives of European and national associations of local and regional authorities.

Forum for local and regional authorities media

In parallel to the plenary session, the CoR and the European Commission's communication directorate general (DG COMM) will host a two-day practical forum for directors of communication and editors of local and regional authority titles, focused on how Europe can better serve the needs of media in its regions and cities. Speakers include Hervé MARSHAL, director of communication for Ile-de-France (FR), Ana Rosa MIGOYA DE DIEGO, Minister for Culture and Communications, Asturias (ES), and Keith ELLIOTT, chairman of PMA Training and correspondent for the Independent on Sunday (UK). For programme, click here: http:www.cor.europa.eu/document/activities/Forum_13_June_2006.pdf

On Wednesday, commissioner Hübner will take part in a topical discussion with members, focusing on the current state of play regarding preparations for the new generation of structural funds' programmes due for launch in January 2007. Hannes Manninen will then outline Finland's priorities for its presidency of the European Union, which begins on 1 July.

Opinions scheduled for adoption on Wednesday:

--Taking sustainable use of resources forward: a thematic strategy on the prevention and recycling of waste. Rapporteur: Laust GROVE VEJLSTRUP, municipal councillor for Sydthy Commune (EPP/DK)

--The promotion of clean road transport vehicles. Rapporteur: Ewa-Mary KARLSSON, municipal commissioner and member of Vindeln Municipal Executive Board (ALDE/SE)

--Key competences for lifelong learning. Rapporteur: Christina TALLBERG, member of Stockholm County Council (PES/SE)

--Implementing the Community Lisbon Programme: a policy framework to strengthen EU manufacturing - towards a more integrated approach for industrial policy. Rapporteur: Onno HOES, member of the executive council of the Province of Noord-Brabant (ALDE/NL)

--A new framework strategy for multilingualism. Rapporteur: Seamus MURRAY, member of Meath County Council (UEN-EA/IE)

Opinions scheduled to be adopted on Thursday

--3rd Maritime Safety Package. Rapporteur: Flo CLUCAS, member of Liverpool City Council (ALDE/UK)

--i2010: Digital Libraries. Rapporteur: Jyrki MYLLYVIRTA, Mayor of Mikkeli (EPP/FI)

--Implementing the Community Lisbon Programme: Modern SME Policy for Growth and Employment. Rapporteur: Constance HANNIFY, member of Offaly County Council, Cathaoirleach of the Midland Regional Authority and member of the Border Midland and Western Regional Assembly (EPP/IE)

--Protection of Minorities and Anti-Discrimination Policies in an Enlarged Europe (European Parliament Resolution). Rapporteurs: Boris SOVIÈ, Mayor of Maribor (PES/SI) and Eberhard SINNER, Minister of State, Head of the Bavarian State Chancellery (EPP/DE)

--The Commission's contribution to the period of reflection and beyond: Plan-D for Democracy, Dialogue and Debate and White Paper on a European communication policy. Rapporteur: Mercedes BRESSO, President of Piedmont (PES/IT)

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