François Decoster’s proposal for establishing an exchange programme for 2018-2020 for local and regional representatives, supported by Mercedes Bresso MEP, received unanimous support in the European Committee of the Regions. It aims at better informing, assisting and training elected representatives on how the EU works and how European funds can be used.
Local and regional representatives are often expected from the start of their mandate to apply European legislation in a wide range of fields at the local level, whether in terms of funding, policy, managing joint projects… Many local councilors unfortunately don’t have the necessary training or background to carry out these tasks. This is a gap that François Decoster, vice president of ALDE in the European Committee of the Regions tries to address with his “Erasmus” proposal for local and regional elected officials.
Decoster received support across party lines for his initiative from Mercedes Bresso MEP, who was, as then CoR President, promoting such a pilot project, launched in 2012, and from a unanimous European Committee of the Regions plenary.
On the question of funding, the CoR suggests that the costs could be shared by EU budgets, the local authorities of the elected representatives taking part and, if need be, training bodies receiving public funds in some Member States.
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