ALDE CoR contributes to the State of the Union

Ahead of the State of the Union debate on 14 September, the ALDE Group in the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), gathering liberal democrat politicians from the sub-state levels of government, outlines how it sees the current state of the EU.

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Local and regional politicians meet in Estonia to discuss entrepreneurship, active and healthy ageing

As part of the EU’s objectives of promoting entrepreneurship active and healthy ageing, a delegation from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Group in the European Committee of the Regions visited on 5 and 6 September Haapsalu Neurological Centre, Haapsalu College and Jüri Secondary School in the Estonian cities of Haapsalu and Rae, invited by ALDE-CoR Members Urmas Sukles, Mayor of Haapsalu and Mart Võrklaev, Mayor of Rae Municipality.

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Royal Decoration for Bas Verkerk

Congratulations to outgoing ALDE President Bas Verkerk for being awarded by the King of the Netherlands a high royal decoration: Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau, for his services to local government, to the city of Delft, and to the European Union. The award was presented by Mr. Jaap Smit, the Crown commissioner of the province of South Holland, during the farewell ceremony at the city of Delft.

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Liberal rapporteurs in the CoR tackle food waste and radicalisation

The opinions on food waste by rapporteur Ossi Martikainen (FI, Keskusta) and tackling radicalization by Bart Somers (BE / Open VLD) were high on the agenda of the Committee of the Regions' plenary. Further details below.

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Strengthening EU Energy Security by improving EU regional strategies

On 3 June, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in the EU's Committee of the Regions (CoR) held a joint meeting with the ALDE Working Group on Maximising Cohesion Policy Results in the European Parliament and the European Parliament's Information Office in Lithuania focusing on "Simplifying EU Cohesion Policy and Enhancing EU Macro-regional Strategies".

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Simplifying EU Cohesion Policy and Enhancing EU Macro-regional Strategies, Klaipeda 3 June

The joint seminar “Simplifying EU Cohesion Policy and Enhancing EU Macro-regional Strategies”, held by the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe in the EU’s Committee of the Regions (CoR), jointly with the ALDE Working Group on Maximising Cohesion Policy Results in the European Parliament and the European Parliament’s Information Office in Lithuania, concluded that simplification should contribute to a better, more effective and simpler use of the Funds in order to make the greatest possible contribution to achieving the Treaty objective of Territorial Cohesion and making the EU more competitive.

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President Verkerk and Lib Dems leader Farron discuss how the EU benefits local authorities

The President of the ALDE CoR group in the European Committee of the Regions Bas Verkerk, and Liberal Democrats members Jill Shortland and Doreen Huddart, as well as former ALDE-CoR presidents Flo Clucas and Lord Tope were in London on 25 May to meet with Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron. Together they discussed how the EU benefits local authorities and how the CoR provides them with opportunities to help shape EU policies.

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Results of the 2016 LeaDeR Awards announced at Brussels ceremony

The results of the fifth edition of the LeaDeR awards were announced Monday 25 April in Brussels at a ceremony held in the Jacques Delors Building of the European Committee of the Regions. Awards were presented in eight categories by Hans van Baalen, President of the ALDE Party and Mr Bas Verkerk President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in the European Committee of the Regions.

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Rijsberman (NL / D66) advises High Level Group on simplification of ESIF funds

The chair of the Committee on Regional Development in the European Parliament Iskra Mihaylova MEP (Bulgaria / ALDE) organised a seminar in Romania on the simplification of European structural and investment funds. ALDE’s CoR member and Flevoland province representative Michiel Rijsberman (Netherlands / D66) shared the viewpoint of the Dutch provinces and called for reducing administrative burdens.

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What is ALDE group ?

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) is a political group that represents liberal & democrat city mayors, regional presidents and ministers, and local and regional councillors in the process of developing EU policies and laws.  The CoR is a political assembly that exists to improve and safeguard a key part of European democracy: the proper involvement in the EU policy process of all the forms of subnational government that can be found in Europe’s Member States.

CITIZENSHIP, GOVERNANCE AND EXTERNAL RELATIONS

ALDE group will focus on assisting Ukraine in its decentralisation process, engaging with local authorities in the Eastern Partnership. Moreover, put strong emphasis on the key role local and regional authorities play in preventing and reversing radicalisation. Furthermore, call on the European Commission to speed up its work on the comprehensive European Agenda on Migration taking into account the key role of local and regional authorities in its implementation and will follow the work of the European Migration Forum for the integration ofthird country nationals legally residing in the Member States.

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TERRITORIAL COHESION

ALDE group will continue to support European cohesion policy but want to ensure that recipients have realflexibility, but also responsibility for the spending of funds. Reform cohesion policy post-2020 so that it targets economic sectors that have the potential for strong economic growth. The use of financial instruments in cohesion policy should be increased and the awardsof grants decreased. Actively support all ways of regional cooperation, such as macro-regional strategies and European Groupings for Territorial Cooperation (EGTCs).

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ECONOMIC AFFAIRS

ALDE group will campaign in favour of the conclusion of TTIP negotiations, focus on the advantages rather thanthe fears in public discussions, whilst taking seriously genuine concerns that arise from the localor regional level. Call for significant reductions in red tape and bureaucratic requirements for small businesses and seek to strengthen alternative dispute mechanisms for businesses. Contribute to creating favourable market conditions for SMEs as well as the European industry, that are based as much as possible on innovation support, market mechanisms, or financialinstruments, rather than long-term subsidies

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ENVIRONMENT, ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

ALDE group will support the creation of the Energy Union and will encourage citizens’ participation in developingthe internal energy market, both as consumers and producers. Recognise the role that regional networks are playing in the fight against climate change, as well as the role of LRAs in the fight and mitigation of climate change. Contribute within the CoR and beyond to urge for a binding global climate change agreement and for its successful implementation, including by local and regional authorities

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NATURAL RESOURCES, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND HERITAGE

ALDE group will support organic production and encourage local and regional authorities to promote the spread of organic, and where possible locally produced, food in schools and hospitals through green public procurement at local and regional level. Support the development of aquaculture which is of strategic relevance in achieving the Common Fisheries Policy goals on territorial cohesion, rural development and economic growth. Monitor the phasing out of the milk quota system to ensure that it does not destroy the existence of small producers and jobs in rural areas and have a negative impact on territorial cohesion

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SOCIAL AFFAIRS, DIGITAL ECONOMY, EDUCATION, RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

ALDE group will firmly oppose any attempt to reduce the fundamental freedoms, in particular the free movement of persons and the freedom of establishment, and actively promote (cross-border) labour mobility, but fight against clear abuses of this principle. Support common European rules on data protection that ensure a high level of protection, in particular on the internet. A finebalance has to be found between new technological developments and data protection rules.

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