Enlargement will be at the centre of attention tomorrow. President Albert Bore has invited the commissioner for enlargement, Günter Verheugen, and municipal and regional representatives from 13 applicant countries to the session. Discussion is to concentrate on two points: preparing the applicant countries' regional and local authorities for accession and the EU's regional policy post-enlargement.
European affairs, Mr Haarder, and the vice-chairman of the Convention on the
Future of Europe, Giuliano Amato.
Mr Haarder will present the Danish presidency's programme to the EU
municipalities and regions; Mr Amato will reply to CoR members' comments and
questions on the convention's guidelines at this stage in its work. In addition to the CoR members, European associations pursuing regional and local interests will take part in the debate, which will be followed by the adoption of the CoR's first contribution to the convention's work, in the light of the extraordinary CoR Bureau meeting in Gijon.
Public-private partnership and the information society: presentation of best
In tandem with the plenary session, an exhibition will be arranged jointly
by the Committee of the Regions and the company Cisco Systems on the theme
of public-private partnerships, e-learning and the information society.
This exhibition will be in two parts: several regions will present examples
of good practice in these matters, paving the way for an exchange of
information between regional and local representatives on the subject, and
businesses will present e-learning tools accessible to the EU and applicant
country regional and local authorities.
The work of the Committee of the Regions is by no means limited to drafting
opinions, President Albert Bore explains. Much of the added value it
contributes to the community institutions lies in its serving as forum for
exchange of experiences among persons in positions of regional and local
responsibility. The exhibition on 3 and 4 July is a good example,
reflecting the practical role that can be played by the regional and local
authorities, at grassroots level, in implementing an EU global strategy for
a knowledge-based society, as part of the Lisbon process.
Opinions to be debated
Three draft opinions are on the plenary session agenda:
- Application of legislation governing health and safety at work to
self-employed workers. Rapporteur: Derek Boden (leader of the UK's
North West Regional Assembly).
- A new community strategy on health and safety at work 2002-2006
- Increasing labour force participation and promoting active ageing.
- A new impetus for European Youth.