Speaking on Europe Day on 9th May in Strasbourg, for the European Union’s launch event of the Conference on the Future of Europe - President of the EU Committee of the Regions ​Apostolos Tzitzikostas set why the EU institutions must reach out to local and regional authorities if it is to be a success.


Hosted by the authorities of Region Grand Est and the City of Strasbourg, the President underlined how the Europe’s 1 million local and regional leaders are the heartbeat of our communities and our Union that are key to ensuring greater engagement with our citizens, as the closest level of governance, holding the democratic accountability to voters. 

The Committee of the Regions is currently in the process of setting up a High Level Group on European Democracy  an independent advisory body of seven wise men and women that will be led by the former President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, that will support the CoR's political and institutional role by providing strategic political analysis, focusing on the challenges for local and regional authorities

The Committee intends to ensure that cities' and regions' voices are heard throughout the Conference on the Future of Europe via Innovative participatory processes and online tools including citizens' panels to provide input and recommendations to a final report of the Conference on local dialogues in Spring 2022.

During the summer and autumn, Local Dialogues will be organised by CoR members involving European and National territorial associations, such as Council of European Municipalities and Regions. 

The CoR will host two big events. The first will be the European Week of Regions and Cities together with the European Commission from the 11th to 14th October. The second will be a European Summit of Regions and Cities in early 2022 during the French EU Presidency hosted by Region PACA and the City of Marseille.

At the Strasbourg launch event on the 9th May, an open letter called on local and regional leaders to organise dialogues in their region, cities and villages as a contribution to the Conference and to appoint in their political assembly a councillor on European Affairs. ​

​​​​President of the European Committee of the Regions Apostolos Tzitzikostas , said:" We need to relaunch the European project by enhancing its democratic functioning. I see our 'House of European Democracy' as having solid foundations - Brussels and the capitals. Local and Regional authorities are the best allies the Union could have to make the Conference a success. Now more than ever, we must seize this opportunity to restart and bring together Europe closer to its people ."

Speaking in Strasbourg, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Democracy and Demography Dubravka Šuica , said: "Regions, mayors and cities are closest to citizens, and are key to making the Conference on the Future of Europe a success."

MEP and Co-Chair of the Executive Committee of the Conference on the Future of Europe Guy Verhofstadt , said, "We want to create real momentum from the bottom up. The Conference will be much more than a listening exercise, but a way to truly include citizens in mapping out our shared European future. 

Portuguese Secretary of State for European Affairs Ana Paula Zacarias said: "local authorities must be at the core of the Conference on the Future of Europe. They are the ones closer to the citizens and can help us in reaching out to those that normally do not participate and express their opinions".

More information
President Tzitzikostas' speech
Open letter "Let's engage with the Conference on the Future of Europa and beyond!"
Listen to the recording from the 9 May local dialogue
CoR citizens survey to contribute to the Conference on the Future of Europe
Download New CoR Mobile App with news and updates from the voice of regions and cities only body representing Europe’s one million local politicians. Available now for iPhone and Android .