Meeting the President’s Cabinets: CECICN update

CECICN Executive Bureau

Last December 3rd and 4th, CECICN organized a Mission to Brussels, so as to meet with the cabinets of President Barroso and President Schulz.

Meeting Ms. Inés Servulo Correia and M. Oliver Dandoy

Cabinet of the President José Manuel BARROSO,

The meeting started by a short introduction on CECICN, the strategic document on Smart Cooperation and the results of the Conference on Smart cooperation in June 2012 in A Coruña.  The strategic document, elaborated together with AEBR and in link with the DG REGIO, has already been passed on to the Commissioner Johannes HAHN and DG MARKT. CECICN will furthermore pass it on to the new President of the Committee of the Regions, and the Chief of Cabinet of the President of the European Parliament in upcoming meetings.

Focus of CECICN work lies on Cooperation. It is speaking for the inhabitants of the border areas in Europe who represent 37 % of European inhabitants. Its aim is to help get Europe out of the crises and to create jobs. Therefore CECICN wants to be a recognized as stakeholder in cooperation with the European Commission. The specificity of CECICN is that it represents the local level of  cooperation via the cities, with both a cross-border and a macroregional approach.

Olivier DANDOY agreed with the importance of grouping stakeholders in a time where resources become more and more limited, confirming the good approach of CECICN, that integrates the current needs. DANDOY also suggested CECICN to work together with the DG’s more involved in cohesion policy while looking at the same time to the level of Member States to promote cooperation.

Meeting with the Cabinet of the President of the European Parliament Martin SCHULZ

After the introduction, CECICN network expressed its views on the future. CECICN completely supports the effort of the European Parliament for an increase in the budget concerning Cohesion policy and Cooperation. Cohesion policy is the most important achievement of the European construction process. CECICN aims at helping to get Europe out of the crisIs and to create jobs, by linking local authorities, businesses and universities. Therefore, more Europe (and not less) is needed.

The 5 key ideas of the strategic document, elaborated with AEBR, were also presented:

1) Better Financing Territorial Cooperation in Cohesion Policy

2) Improving the strategic dimension of cooperation, via the integration of different scales.

3) Reinforcing governance. There is a need for a multilevel governance approach, better including the local level.

4) Developing the tools. EU budget and cooperation programmes are important, but there is also a need for progress in the field of legislation and a coordination between the Member States. There is a need of capitalization of good practices.

5) Contributing to the Single Market. The Strategic document includes a table showing a cross-cutting approach of the 3 strands of the Europe 2020 strategies and the freedoms of the Single Market.

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