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Participation of the autonomous regions and local entities in the Committee of the regions
The Committee of the Regions (CoR) is a consultative body representing local and regional bodies of the European Union. it was created by the Treaty of Maastricht, and the first plenary meeting was in 1994. It is currently regulated in article 300 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
The Commission, the Council and Parliament must consult the Committee of the regions before taking European decisions in areas of local and regional impact (such as employment policy, the environment, education or public health). The CoR does not have the status of “institution ” and its activity has two legal limitations: delivers no opinion on any proposed EU acts and its opinions are not binding for the Council or the Commission.
After the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Commission is also duty-bound to consult the regional and local authorities and their associations throughout the EU since the pre-legislative phase.
The Committee of the Regions today holds 350 members, and the same number of deputies from 28 countries of the EU. The members are responsible for regional and local entities and must hold an electoral mandate for regional or local authorities or political responsibility on an elected assembly. The Council appoints the members and deputies for a period of five years, on a proposal from the EU countries. Each country chooses its members according to its own standards, but all delegations reflect the political, geographical and local / regional balance of the respective country.
The COR celebrates six meetings per year, in which establishes its overall policy and approves his opinions. Its six commissions explore different policies and the opinions being discussed in plenary:
• Territorial cohesion and budget of the EU (COTER)
• Economic Policy (ECON)
• Social policy, education, employment, research and culture (SEDEC)
• Environment, climate change and energy (ENVE)
• Citizenship, governance and institutional affairs and external (CIVEX)
• Natural resources (NAT)
The Commissions draw up draft opinions that are then discussed at any of the annual Plenary Sessions and if it is adopted by a majority, the CoR presents the opinion to the Commission, the Council and the European Parliament. the Committee also adopted resolutions on current political issues. A first President and Vice-President are elected from among the members of the Committee. moreover, the Bureau of the Committee of the regions is the body of momentum of its activity, in the sense that this is what makes the political agenda of the CoR at the beginning of each mandate controls the implementation of the said programme and coordinates generally the proceedings of the plenary sessions and the committees. in general, the Bureau meets eight times a year, before each of the six plenaries at Brussels, plus two extraordinary meetings in the two member States exercicing Council's rotating Presidency. The Bureau is obliged to reflect political pluralism, especially, of the Assembly that represents the CoR. In this spirit, the composition of the Bureau provides as follows: the President; the First Vice-President; 28 Vice-Presidents (by one Member State); 28 members more, and the Chairmen of the political groups. Like the President, the Bureau serves for two and a half years.
Current members of the CoR are divided into five political groups, reflecting the political situation in Europe: the European People's Party (PPE), the Party of European lossocialistas (PSE), the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), the European Alliance (AE), and the Group of the European Conservatives and Reformists (CRE).
Spain has 21 members in the Committee of the regions. of this total, represent the 17 autonomous communities and 4 to local authorities, with the Autonomous Regions proposing the members that will form the regional delegation, and the FEMP the representatives of local authorities. The system was adopted by a motion adopted by the Senate on 20 October 1993.
In most cases, the representatives of the autonomous regions are their Presidents, although normally their activity is developed by alternates, who might be Councillors or senior figures, including the delegate of the Community in Brussels.