Bekanntlich gehört zu den größten Herausforderungen der EU, ihre Arbeit den Bürgern zu kommunizieren. Regionen können eine Brücke zwischen der europäischen Ebene und den Bürgern bauen, da sie eine Schlüsselrolle spielen, wenn es darum geht, Europapoltik umzusetzen. Sie können die Ansichten der Bürger den europäischen Entscheidungsträgern nahebringen.
The Lisbon Treaty puts in place a new democratic instrument - the so called European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) - which will give theoretically citizens the chance to have a greater say in European politics. However, important questions are still open: 'How will the ECI work in practice and how can regions contribute to it or make use of it? Will it finally contribute to making Europe more citizens friendly and transparent? AER is continuing to monitor this initiative and make the voice of the regions heard when implementing it.
The June 2007 European Council underlined the crucial importance of reinforcing communication with the European Citizens. Last October (2007) the European Commission published a Communication called: Communicating Europe in Partnership. This Communication builds on the previous iniatives and activities of the European Commission, it sums them up, consolidates current activities, and it formulates a set of concrete proposals on how to enhance communication policy of the EU.
In this White Paper, the European regions set out their shared strategy for how they, working together with the citizens and with local, national and European institutions, can help to tackle some of the core problems facing European integration today. It shows how the regions can bring legitimacy to the European integration process and sets out a series of concrete measures that can help to bring the grassroots back into the European Union.
The European Commission has developed a number of strategies for improving communication with the citizens, set out in its so-called Plan D' and Communications Strategy'. The AER believes that the Commission needs to give a far greater role to the regions in these initiatives and that it needs to devolve its financial resources for communication to the regional level, where they can be used most effectively.
Director - Members Relations, Academic and Institutional Affairs
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