Recognising the growing importance of interregional cooperation for European development, the Congress has created a new Ad Hoc Working Group on the subject, which held its inaugural session in Strasbourg, France, on 21 November 2007.
Under its terms of reference, the Group is responsible for following the Congress’ activities in the field of interregional and transfrontier cooperation, and maintain and develop cooperation with the different Congress bodies – notably its statutory committees – on activities related to interregional cooperation. It is also tasked with supporting the implementation of instruments which provide the legal framework of inter-territorial cooperation, and the Adriatic Euroregion. Finally, the Group will continue the activities to create a Black Sea Euroregion, and initiate a reflection on the possibility of creating Euroregions in other geographically vulnerable areas.
At its first meeting, the Group elected Karl-Heinz Lambertz (Belgium, SOC) its President. Karl-Heinz Lambertz, Minister-President of the Germanophone Community of Belgium, is a representative of the Chamber of Regions and Vice-President of the Committee on Culture and Education. He is also Congress Rapporteur on transfrontier cooperation.
Among other items on the Group’s agenda is an overview of Congress activities concerning legal instruments that can facilitate interregional and cross-border cooperation, as well as the intergovernmental activities of the Council of Europe and activities of its Parliamentary Assembly. The Group will also decide on its work programme and priorities for 2008-2009.
The Ad Hoc Working Group is made up of 12 members. The Parliamentary Assembly is also invited to participate. A number of partner organisations enjoy observer status with the Group: the Assembly of European Regions (AER), the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), the European Network of Training Organisations for Local and Regional Authorities (ENTO), the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR), the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe (CPMR), and the Adriatic Euroregion.
Composition of the Working Group
Varuzhan NERSISYAN (Armenia)
Michael NEUREITER (Austria)
Karl-Heinz LAMBERTZ (Belgium)
Karsten BEHR (Germany)
Carlo ANDREOTTI (Italy)
Claudette ABELA BALDACCHINO (Malta)
Odd Arild KVALÖY (Norway)
Anatoly SALTYKOV (Russian Federation)
Hans Ulrich STÖCKLING (Switzerland)
Nataliya ROMANOVA (Ukraine)
Susan BOLAM (United Kingdom)
Communication Unit of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
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