The key role of local authorities in ensuring the success of the Eastern Partnership will be in focus today, as the Conference of the Regional and Local Authorities for the Eastern Partnership – or CORLEAP – gathers for its annual meeting in Brussels. With their strong grassroots connections, local and regional authorities are uniquely placed to build partnerships on the ground, and to involve citizens in cooperation that delivers tangible benefits to their communities.
CORLEAP brings together local and regional authorities from the European Union and the Eastern Partnership countries, providing a platform to discuss their contribution in the development of the Eastern Partnership. As such, it strengthens the role of cities and regions in collaborating on concrete projects, making policies more local, and strengthening local democracy.
Its 36 members are regional and local politicians (mayors, members of local and regional assemblies or parliaments) – 18 from EU member states, and 18 – three each – from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.
Today’s annual meeting, hosted by the EU’s Committee of the Regions, will adopt recommendations that will be submitted to the 5th Eastern Partnership Summit, taking place on 24 November 2017.
“Being the level of governance operating closest to the citizens, local and regional authorities can and will contribute substantially to the successful implementation of the Eastern Partnership, by showcasing success and potential of territorial cooperation and by increasing the understanding and visibility of the benefits of EaP policy to citizens,” CORLEAP said in a press release.
CORLEAP’s annual meeting will also focus on three thematic areas – namely, good governance, energy efficiency, and communicating for a stronger partnership.