Regional Board international activity
EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
Since February 2006 Marek Woźniak has been a Member of the European Committee of the Regions in Brussels participating in the work of two Commissions: EDUC (the Commission for Education, Youth and Research) and RELEX (the Commission for External Relations and Decentralised Cooperation). In April 2008 he was appointed the head of the Polish delegation to the European Committee of the Regions, and CoR Vice President and a Member of the CoR Bureau.
In 2010, he was selected the Vice-President of the Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy (COTER) and from September 2012 until the beginning of 2015 he acted as the President of this Commission. Moreover, Marek Woźniak attends the works of the Commission for Citizenship, Governance, Institutional and External Affairs (CIVEX), whose activity also encompasses the Eastern Partnership. On December 2010, he was nominated the Vice-President of the European People's Party (EPP) in the European Committee of the Regions.
Marshal Marek Woźniak is still a member of the COTER and CIVEX commissions.
European Committee of the Regions(CoR) is the political assembly that provides the regional and local levels with a voice in EU policy development and EU legislation.
The Treaties oblige the Commission, Parliament and Council to consult the European Committee of the Regions whenever new proposals are made in areas that affect the regional or local level. The CoR has 350 members from the 28 EU countries, and its work is organised in 6 different commissions. They examine proposals, debate and discuss in order to write official opinions on key issues.
The European Committee of the Regions together with the European Economic and Social Committee constitute the so-called advisory bodies (Art. 256a of the Lisbon Treaty) for EU Institutions: the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission. After the Lisbon Treaty entered into force, the European Committee of the Regions plays a far more important role in the legislative process. In accordance with the provisions of the new treaty, the European Commission is obliged to consult local and regional authorities and their associations at an early pre-legislative stage. As soon as a legislative proposal is submitted, the Commission is obliged to consult the European Committee of the Regions, if this proposal is connected with one of numerous areas of policy directly concerning local and regional authorities.
The Maastricht Treaty defined five areas of obligatory consultations of the European Commission and the European Council with the CoR:
• social and economic cohesion,
• trans-European infrastructure networks,
• education and culture.
The Amsterdam Treaty extended this list by adding five other areas:
• employment policy,
• social policy,
• environmental protection,
• vocational education
The Lisbon Treaty further extended the scope of the involvement of the European Committee of the Regions, adding the following issues to the list of political strategies which need to be consulted with the CoR:
• protection of people,
• climate changes,
• services of general interest.
However, the involvement of CoR is not limited to issuing opinions concerning the Commission's proposals. The obligation to receive an opinion from CoR by the European Parliament was first introduced in the Lisbon Treaty. This makes it possible for the CoR to make a statement on all changes to legislative proposlas submitted by European MEPs.
CoR also has the right to ask questions to the Commission, the Parliament and the Council, if these institutions do not take its opinions into account. Furthermore, it may even demand new consultations if the initial proposal is significantly changed by institutions dealing with it at a later stage.
CONGRESS OF LOCAL AND REGIONAL AUTHORITIES OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE
As a delegate of the Union of the Provinces of the Republic of Poland (Zwiazek Województw RP), Deputy Marshal Wojciech Jankowiak represents the Wielkopolska Region in the Chamber of Regions being also the Deputy Head of the Polish Delegation tothe Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (CLRAE) in Strasbourg. Moreover, he is also representing Wielkopolska Region in Peri-urban Regions Platform Europe (PURPLE) as a Vice-President of the network.
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe is an advisory body which represents local and regional authorities of Member States of the Council of Europe. It consists of 648 members , who represent 200,000 local and regional authorities. The number of the representatives of each member state corresponds with the number of seats a given country is entitled to in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Poland is represented by 24 members in the said Congress (12 members and 12 alternates).