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Documento2MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE
September 16th, 2011 - Santa Cruz de Tenerife The CALRE Standing Committee met in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, at the Parliament of the Canary Islands, on 16th September 2011, to discuss the following 1. Greetings of the President of the Canary Islands’ Parliament, Antonio Ángel Castro Cordobez; 2. Approval of the minutes of the Standing Committee held in Santiago de Compostela on June 24th,
3. Report of the activities carried out by the CALRE President;
4. Report of the initiative of President Nazario Pagano on the collection of socio-economic data of
5. Candidacy for the 2012 CALRE Presidency;
6. 2011 Declaration of L'Aquila: remarks and proposals of the Presidents of the Assemblies;
7. Speeches of the coordinators of the working groups;
8. Evaluation of the initiative of the coordinator of the Conference of Presidents of Italian Regional
legislative Assemblies, Davide Boni, on the establishment of a Coordination of EU Affairs
Committees of European regional Parliaments;
9. Any other business.
- Nazario Pagano, CALRE President and Chairman of the Abruzzo Regional Council;
- Rosemary Butler, Presiding Officer of the Legislative Assembly for Wales;
- Jan Peumans, President of the Flemish Parliament;
- Hans Penz, President of the Legislative Assembly of Lower Austria;
- Nuria de Gispert i Català, President of the Parliament of Catalonia and coordinator of the
working group “subsidiarity”;
- Francisco Vidal Celdran, President of the Parliament of Murcia, delegated by the President of
the Regional Council of Veneto, Clodovaldo Ruffato, for the working group on financial
- Fernando Jesús Manzano Pedrera, President of the Parliament of Extremadura and coordinator
of the working group on “ balance of rural and urban areas”.
The CALRE Secretary General, Dr. Giovanna Colangelo, attended the meeting.
The meeting opened at 10:00 am.
Palazzo dell’Emiciclo - Via M. Iacobucci, 4 67100 L’Aquila Tel. 0862.644754 – Telefax 0862.644224 Web-Site: www.calrenet.eu e-mail: [email protected] President Pagano welcomed and thanked the President of the Parliament of the
Canary Islands, Antonio Ángel Castro Cordobez, for the hospitality given to all the Presidents. He ceded the floor to President Castro Cordobez.
Point 1 of the operative agenda: welcome message of the President of the
Parliament of the Canary Islands, Antonio Ángel Castro Cordobez
The President of the Parliament of the Canary Islands, Antonio Angel Castro
Cordobez, thanked President Pagano, complimenting him for his intelligent and effective
Presidency. He welcomed the attending Presidents, saying that it was a real joy to welcome the
representatives of European countries in the Canary Islands, a European enclave, firmly believing in
democracy. He underlined the necessity to overcome the difficulties created by the European
economic situation, by emphasizing the peculiarities of the territories and strengthening common
ideals as required by the Lisbon Treaty in order not to accentuate the differences. He wished the
participants a pleasant stay.
In thanking President Castro Cordobez, President Pagano stated that, in such a
serious historical eve like the current one, the European regions have to reaffirm their unity and find concrete solutions for future generations. He notified that the coordinator of the Working Group on "Financial Federalism", Clodovaldo Ruffato, delegated the President of the Legislative Assembly of Murcia Region, Francisco Celdràn Vidal, to represent him in the Standing Committee. He welcomed the President of the Parliament of Catalonia, Nuria de Gispert, the President of the legislative Assembly of Extremadura, Fernando Jesús Manzano Pedrera, and the President of the regional Assembly of Murcia, Francisco Celdràn Vidal.
Point 2 of the operative agenda: approval of the minutes of the Standing
Committee held in Santiago de Compostela on 24th June, 2011
Under Article 10 of CALRE Rules, President Pagano delivered the minutes of the Standing Committee held in Santiago de Compostela on 24th June 2011. In the absence of observations, the minutes were approved.
Point 3 of the operative agenda: report of the activities carried out by the
President Pagano illustrated the activities he carried on as CALRE President after the meeting of the Standing Committee held in Santiago de Compostela on 24th June. Palazzo dell’Emiciclo - Via M. Iacobucci, 4 67100 L’Aquila Tel. 0862.644754 – Telefax 0862.644224 Web-Site: www.calrenet.eu e-mail: [email protected] On 6th July, in Pescara, he attended the conference sponsored by the Assembly of European Regions regarding the process of democratisation in Tunisia. Pagano underlined the relevance of the topic and illustrated the AER project to promote democracy in Tunisia. The project is based on: apprenticeships for young people, assistance to local and regional governments in organizing elections and in project-management, and support to the candidacy of women through training courses. The President recalled how, on that occasion, he underlined the importance for European regions to carry on institution and capacity building activities, in order to promote the building of democratic institutions and to endow the target countries of the necessary skills to meet the needs of the community effectively and efficiently. Cooperating with them could allow Europe to foster the European model of state of law peacefully in those realities, which are not European but are very close to Europe, respecting their features, their values and specificities. On 22nd and 23rd July, Pescara hosted the workshop dedicated to the dynamics of European regionalism "Europe of regions: a path to build together." The conference was structured around a serious debate on many issues: - Strengthening the role of the regional legislative assemblies in decision-making phase of European policies; - A concrete implementation of the principle of subsidiarity; - A strong focus on issues related to financial federalism; - The development of relations between regional associations operating in Europe. The presidents of regional parliaments in the European Union, the representatives of CALRE, the CPMR (Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions), the AER (Assembly of European Regions), AEBR (Association of European Border Regions) and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe talked with the Chairman of the Committee of the Regions, Mercedes Bresso, and the representatives of Italian and European institutions. The common thread throughout the conference was the necessity to find a connection point to consolidate the role of regions in European decision-making process. On that occasion, the CALRE President and the President of the Committee of the Regions, Mercedes Bresso, signed a letter of intents integrated to the action plan CoR / CALRE, aiming at promoting exchange of knowledge, contacts and information and strengthening mutual cooperation in monitoring the respect of the subsidiarity principle and facilitating the participation of Regional Legislative Assemblies in the subsidiarity network. Bresso stressed the need “to ensure that EU policies become very respectful regional and local interests. That’s why preventive work is crucial". President Pagano emphasized how cooperating could make European regions grow and make the decisions of the EU Commission take into account the territories. The Conference was based on issues of great topical interest. Because of the crisis in Maghreb, a special session of the debate was devoted to the theme of immigration. The roundtable was moderated by the RAI journalist Monica Maggioni and was attended by: the Presidents of the Regional Councils of Sicily, Apulia and the Canary Islands; the Undersecretary of the Italian Ministry of the Interior responsible for immigration, Sonia Viale, and the advisor of the EU Commission DG for Regional Policy, David Sweet. They stressed the need for Europe, European states and regions to coordinate their action in order to regulate migratory flows and carry on the dialogue on migration, mobility and security with the Southern Mediterranean countries. The workshop ended with a technical session dedicated to the activities of CALRE working groups on “e-democracy”, “financial federalism” and “regional democracy” and with the presentation of socio-economic data of CALRE regions, whose findings are available on the website of CALRE in the section related to the meetings of Pescara. In addition to enhance the knowledge of the reality of Palazzo dell’Emiciclo - Via M. Iacobucci, 4 67100 L’Aquila Tel. 0862.644754 – Telefax 0862.644224 Web-Site: www.calrenet.eu e-mail: [email protected] CALRE regions through homogeneous and comparable data, the objective of the initiative was also to detect similarities and differences between different regional realities and to lay the groundwork for future cooperation projects between CALRE regional legislative assemblies.
Point 4 of the operative agenda: Report on the initiative of President Nazario
Pagano on the collection of socio-economic data of CALRE Regions
Pagano recalled that during the first meeting of the CALRE Standing Committee
in 2011, held in Brussels last February, he expressed his intention to submit a short questionnaire to CALRE Assemblies in order to gather some socio-economic data of the communities they represent, so as to have an immediate perception of CALRE realities and to enable collaboration among different regions in a number of fields (economic, tourist, cultural and so on.). The Standing Committee gave its consent and the social economic form was sent, requesting CALRE Assemblies to give the following information: - Population - The number of members of the Legislative Assembly - Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - The total budget managed by the Region or report expenditure - The unemployment rate - The prevailing productive activities and the number of employed for each economic sector - The number of airports, flights and passengers - The tourist flow President Pagano briefly presented the findings of the research, through tables and graphs delivered to the other participants, so as to know which is the weight in terms of population and GDP CALRE regions have within the European Union. President Pagano’s proposal to publish the forms on the CALRE institutional website and to update them annually was approved unanimously.
Point 5 of the operative agenda: Candidacy for 2012 CALRE Presidency
Following the considerations raised in the previous Standing Committee,
President Pagano asked if there were possible candidates for 2012 CALRE Presidency. He
pointed out that under the Article 8 of CALRE Rules, candidacies had to be presented to the last
meeting of the Standing Committee before the Plenary Session, by written request with a list of
possible meetings and a political agenda.
Hans Penz, President of the Legislative Assembly of Lower Austria, commented
the socio-economic data of CALRE regions, asking to enrich the list of data and encourage the regions not answering to fill in the questionnaire.
Nuria de Gispert i Català, President of the Parliament of Catalonia, agreed with
President Penz’s proposal to urge regions to submit their data.
President Pagano underlined the need to receive candidacies and ensured that in
2012, as Vice-President of CALRE, he will give its full support. He recalled that President Willi Stächele suggested a possible candidacy of Baden Württemberg during the Standing Committee Palazzo dell’Emiciclo - Via M. Iacobucci, 4 67100 L’Aquila Tel. 0862.644754 – Telefax 0862.644224 Web-Site: www.calrenet.eu e-mail: [email protected] held in Santiago de Compostela. He expressed his wish that the day before the Plenary Assembly in L'Aquila, when a candidacy will be officially proposed, all the CALRE Presidents will support it, as CALRE Presidents have always been elected unanimously.
Francisco Celdran Vidal, President of the Parliament of Murcia, recalled that the
President of the Parliament of Galicia, Pilar Rojo Noguera, absent because of binding commitments, had expressed her interest to be a candidate for the next CALRE Presidency, and her candidacy could have been formalized in few days.
Pagano expressed his support for her decision, considering President Noguera
suitable for the presidential position. He remembered the importance to share a single candidacy during the Plenary Assembly in L’Aquila, even in presence of other ones.
Ángel Antonio Castro Cordobez recalled the request from Spain to postpone the
calendar of the Plenary Assembly of L'Aquila because of the Spanish elections on November 20th.
Pagano announced his support for the request in order to allow Spanish
Presidents to take part in the Plenary Assembly in L'Aquila and agreed to postpone it of a week, therefore on 24th, 25th and 26th November.
Hans Penz complained with President Castro for the lack of translation into
German. He pointed out the desire of the President of the Legislative Assembly of Baden Württemberg, Willi Stächele, not to postpone the dates of the next Standing Committee and CALRE Plenary Assembly. With regard to the Declaration of L'Aquila, while stating his support, he suggested to limit it only to some specific topics in order to put them into practice and give more visibility to CALRE.
Pagano apologized for the problem concerning the translation. He recalled his
respect for President Penz and for his country. He pointed out that the Declaration of L'Aquila was only a draft version and that all suggestions were welcome. With regard to the postponement of the dates of the next Standing Committee and the Plenary Assembly of L'Aquila, Pagano underlined that the timing was already decided and that Spanish Presidents could not predict early elections in Spain. He pointed out that, being seventeen, the presence of Spanish regions at the Plenary Assembly was important. He asked President Penz to accept the request, adding that President Van Staa had problems to intervene on the dates already set for the Plenary Assembly as well.
Nuria de Gispert i Català, President of the Parliament of Catalonia, apologized
for the request of postponement, yet underlining that it would have allowed Spanish presidents to attend the meeting in L'Aquila at the end of November. With regard to the Declaration of L'Aquila, she suggested the need for it to focus on two main issues: the relationship with the legislative Assemblies of other countries and the subsidiarity principle.
President Pagano reaffirmed the need to postpone the dates and asked Penz to
convince his Austrian and German colleagues.
Penz granted the request.
Palazzo dell’Emiciclo - Via M. Iacobucci, 4 67100 L’Aquila Tel. 0862.644754 – Telefax 0862.644224 Web-Site: www.calrenet.eu e-mail: [email protected]
Since there were no objections, the new calendar was adopted.
Point 6 on the agenda: 2011 Declaration of L'Aquila: remarks and proposals
of the Presidents of the Assemblies.
President Pagano informed the Committee that during the Plenary Assembly of
L'Aquila, a final Declaration will be approved together with the amendments to CALRE Rules. With regard to the Declaration of L'Aquila he presented, Pagano observed that it addressed single questions, underlining the intent of CALRE and trying to summarize the experiences and the initiatives undertaken in 2011. He observed how the Declaration addressed the themes of: the relations among CALRE assemblies; the relations between CALRE and similar associations operating in Europe and with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. It underlined the willingness of CALRE to promote a more proactive role of Regional Assemblies within the European Union, particularly for what the respect of the principle of subsidiarity and the EU cohesion policy are concerned. Moreover, President Pagano highlighted how the document mentioned some initiatives, such as the promotion of regional legislative assemblies’ organizational model in realities with a different organization or the self-evaluation of Regional legislative Assemblies. Finally, he showed how the document focused the issue of immigration as well. In fact, even though Regions are not competent with it, being a topic falling within the foreign policy of national states, immigration involves other issues- such as the protection of health, first aid etc. –interesting those regions whose areas are directly affected by immigration. Pagano informed the audience that some days before, the President of the Legislative Assembly of Baden Württemberg, Willi Stächele, and the President of the Legislative Assembly of Lower Austria, Hans Penz, advanced proposals of Declaration of L'Aquila. He remarked how their proposals were integrated in the sections related to the subsidiarity network and the EU cohesion policy, as well as in the conclusion of the draft Declaration, which stressed: the need to create a "culture of stability" in the EU (Stächele’s proposal), the importance for Regions to have an active role in the system of multilevel governance, the bond of mutual "need" between regions and Europe (Penz’s proposal). Then Pagano listed the topics covered by the proposal of Declaration of L'Aquila: - Strengthening the relationship between regional legislative assemblies; - Enhancing the relations between European Regional associations; - institution building activities and transnational dialogue; - the self-assessment of regional parliaments; - The subsidiarity network and the early warning system; - CALRE and the new EU cohesion policy. He underlined that the message CALRE wants to communicate to the European Union is to act in a coordinated manner with the political and institutional realities closer to its people, namely the regional parliaments able to communicate the needs of their territories and their citizens. President Pagano supported the idea to develop a strong declaration, showing his availability to accept the contributions of other presidents. He stated that politics needs people who love it in order to avoid the mistakes of the past. Palazzo dell’Emiciclo - Via M. Iacobucci, 4 67100 L’Aquila Tel. 0862.644754 – Telefax 0862.644224 Web-Site: www.calrenet.eu e-mail: [email protected] Rosemary Butler, Presiding officer of the Legislative Assembly for Wales,
thanked President Pagano for putting the stress on the importance of regions. With regard to the Declaration of L'Aquila, she underlined the need to raise awareness among citizens and especially young people on the importance of European institutions. Therefore she proposed to integrate the paragraph 5 of the Declaration. She reported her experience, observing how in Wales a travelling bus to explain the citizens what has been done has been organized.
Pagano invited her to deliver a written proposal and to send it by email. He
invited the other Presidents to do the same as well. Nuria de Gispert i Català, President of the Catalan Legislative Assembly, attended the meeting as coordinator of the working group on subsidiarity. President Pagano invited her to
speak on the activities of the working group.
Nuria de Gispert i Català thanked President Pagano and President Antonio
Pagan Angel Castro Cordobez. She expressed her regret for the limited time available for her speech, and then provided a brief summary of the activities carried out by the working group on subsidiarity since 2007. Then, she informed the participants on the final workshop, taking place on Monday 19th to which all the Presidents were invited.
Pagano thanked the coordinator of the working group and expressed his
satisfaction for the interest of the new Spanish Presidents for CALRE. He invited Auzmendi Montserrat, member of the delegation of the Basque Parliament, to illustrate the activities of the working group dedicated to e-democracy.
Montserrat Auzmendi brought the greetings of the Coordinator of the Group and
President of the Basque Parliament, Arantza Quiroga Cia, and illustrated the state of art of the working groups’ activities, whose last meeting was held on July 20th. She underlined how the institutions should interact with citizens to ensure two fundamental principles of democracy: participation and transparency. She announced the program of the Group and the activities to be undertaken for the future, including the use of new technologies.
President Pagano thanked Montserrat Auzmendi and the Basque country, always
very active, reminding the conference on subsidiarity organized by the Coreg hosted by the Basque country. He invited the member of the working group on financial federalism and President of the regional Legislative Assembly of Murcia, Francisco Celdran Vidal. Celdran Vidal asked the President of Extremadura whether he would have kept
the coordination of the working Group related to “the balance between rural and urban areas”.
Pagano invited President Fernando Jesús Manzano Pedrera to answer.
Palazzo dell’Emiciclo - Via M. Iacobucci, 4 67100 L’Aquila Tel. 0862.644754 – Telefax 0862.644224 Web-Site: www.calrenet.eu e-mail: [email protected] Manzano Pedrera recalled that the Working Group on the balance between rural
and urban areas was established in Trento at the end of 2010 and met only once since then, before the elections in Extremadura. He highlighted the relevance of the Working Group, expressing his willingness to organize seminars on the subject. He asked an extension of the Working Group of at least one year, in order to carry on the working group activities and make a final report.
Pagano expressed his satisfaction for President Manzano Pedrera’s request,
pointing out the relevance of the working group coordinated by him to know the future of territories. He anticipated his willingness to propose the extension and to support Manzano’s confirmation as Coordinator of the Working Group, keeping in touch with the coordinators of the other working groups before the plenary Assembly of L'Aquila. He expressed his interest for the activities of the working groups to explore relevant themes and continue the collaboration between various regions. He asked if there were other proposals for the establishment of working groups on new topics, such as those mentioned by the President Penz “competitiveness or energy”.
Point 8 of the operative agenda: Evaluation of the proposal launched by
Davide Boni, President of the Conference of Italian Regions and Autonomous Provinces’
legislative Assemblies, on the institution of a Coordination of EU Regional Parliaments’
Commissions for European Affairs.
With regard to the point 8 of the operative agenda, President Pagano recalled that during the previous meeting, the Committee examined the proposal of David Boni, Coordinator of the Conference of Presidents of Italian Legislative Assemblies, on the establishment of a Coordination of EU Affairs Committees of European regional parliaments - along the lines of COSAC (Conference of Presidents of the European Affairs Committees of national Parliaments of the European Union) - within CALRE. The idea was positively evaluated by the Committee, since it ensured that the bodies responsible for European affairs in the regional parliaments could have a place to meet and work together in order to harmonize their positions, express their opinions on the respect of the subsidiarity principle and define policy guidelines to influence and implement European Union legislation at regional level. The proposal also remarked how the Committee of the Regions - the official voice of Regions in Europe - could play the same role that the European Parliament has in its relation with COSAC, namely to provide the most appropriate institutional framework, as well as political and technical support. With regard to the organization and the operating costs of coordination, Pagano recalled his personal commitment to submit the question to the President of the Committee of Regions. In their folders, the presidents found the note sent by President Pagano to President Bresso in August, with which he remarked the usefulness of the initiative and proposed to organize a meeting between the Committee and the Presidents of EU Affairs Committees of CALRE. He asked for the COR availability to provide logistical assistance to the meeting, through the preparation of a room and the provision of translation services. Pagano informed that the initiative was informally welcomed by the COR, which proposed an indicative date for the meeting: December 15th in B
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