CPMR prepares for future of Europe debates at 45th General Assembly

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The CPMR’s member regions from across Europe will gather for its General Assembly in Helsinki, Finland from 18-20 October.

The 45th CPMR General Assembly, involving region presidents, elected politicians, MEPS and European Commission officials, has been organised at the kind invitation of the Uusimaa-Helsinki region.

CPMR Secretary General, Eleni Marianou, said: “This meeting takes place at a very important time, given the historic discussions taking place on the future of Europe. Our member regions will seize the opportunity to lay out their own realistic vision for a future Europe with regions at its heart.”

The agenda for the meeting involves a key debate on the Future of the European project in conjunction with the EU budget, which will include the presentation of an initial CPMR policy position for agreement by member regions. There will also be important discussions on the future of the EU Cohesion Policy, Integrated Maritime Policy, Transport and Accessibility, Climate Change and the Migration crisis.

CPMR President, Vasco Cordeiro, will chair the opening session on the first day, which will also include an address by Mark Drakeford, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government, of the Welsh Government. Mr Drakeford will present a Declaration on Brexit, to be approved by the CPMR‘s member regions ahead of its Brexit Conference, being hosted by the Welsh government in Cardiff on 16 November.

This will be followed by a debate on ‘Transport and Accessibility’, involving an address by Merja Kyllönen, Member of the Committee on Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament, on perspectives for the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). There will also be a presentation by Frederic Versini, Deputy Head of Unit, for the European Commission’s DG MOVE, and an address on ‘Improving islands’ accessibility by Gilles Simeoni, President of Corsica and the CPMR Islands Commission.

The second day will kick-off with a discussion on the ‘EU Cohesion policy post 2020’, led by Enrico Rossi, CPMR Vice-President, and President of Tuscany, which will also include a speech by French MEP Isabel Thomas, responsible for budget and Cohesion policy for the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament.

Next up, there will be a discussion on the ‘Integrated Maritime Policy’, with a video message from Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner in charge of Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and an address by Bernhard Friess, Director of the European Commission’s DG MARE.

This will be followed by a debate on ‘Climate Change’, which will involve the presentation of the CPMR’s draft policy positions on the EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change and the Clean Energy Package.

Providing the European Commission’s input into the Clean Energy Package and Energy Union discussions will be Samuele Furfari, Policy Coordinator/Advisor to the Deputy Director-General, DG ENER. Input into the Review of Adaptation Strategy will come from Max Linsen, Policy Officer, International and Mainstreaming-Adaptation, DG CLIMA.

Finally, the debate on the ‘Future of the European Union Project’ will be chaired by CPMR President Cordeiro. The discussions will involve input from Markku Markkula, 1st Vice-President of the Committee of the Regions and Stefan Lehner, Director at the European Commission’s DG BUDGET.

The debates at the General Assembly will culminate in the adoption of the Final Declaration which will cover all of the policy issues discussed over the two days of the meeting.

To find out more and read the full agenda for the CPMR General Assembly, visit the CPMR website.