The construction of the European Union is, and has always been done by states. Since the Maastricht treaty however, sub national authorities have an official advisory body from which they can influence the making of the European policy: the Committee of the regions. This committee is made of 317 members; each country has a representation corresponding to its population. This month, the committee celebrates its 12th birthday. On that occasion, I will try to see how effective the Committee of the regions is at providing an effective representation of the local and regional authorities at Union level. To do that, I will first see how the Committee works, how it is composed, what its problems are. Then I will turn to its relations with the European institutions which will allow us to estimate its possible influence. Finally, I will look at its actions and what impact they were perceived to have.
[...] The same treaty also granted a more important role to the Committee of the regions with an increased role in monitoring the implementation of the principle of subsidiary. Hence the distribution of power is not only between the union and the states but adds a third layer: the sub national level. And if we look at what the Committee of the regions wanted, it has been granted a lot: the political legitimacy of its members, its own rules of procedure and a better cooperation with the institutions, none is really contentious and the one with the European Commission is ever improving. [...]
[...] The Eur Plt also saw it as a threat feared that Committee of the regions might become the second chamber of the Union and thus take away some of its power.⋄ situation improved, now European Parliament can consult the Committee of the regions. That way, Committee of the regions can make use of the European Parliament's powers of co-decision impact? European Parliament helped the Committee of the regions at the IGC, gave it all the working papers cooperation improves. Finally, the most important one (if not the only important one): The commission. [...]
[...] Another critic made against the Committee of the regions for not being an effective representation before Nice took effect (2003) members did not have to be elected or accountable to an elective body lack of legitimacy. Members' independent? National list accepted by council but yes, except in Ireland where the selection is done nationally, the other state let the sub national units carry that process and do not interfere. + Committee of the regions does not have to submit its rules of procedure for the Council to approve them anymore. [...]
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