Lisbon Strategy - Call for expression of interest in establishing a Lisbon network

June 8, 2006

Brussels, 22 May 2006

Call for expression of interest in establishing a Lisbon network

The Committee of the Regions is launching a call for expression of interest to European local and regional authorities; the aim is to establish a network of fifty regions and local authorities to conduct detailed ongoing monitoring of their progress towards implementing the Lisbon Strategy.

The network will also be used as a basis for establishing a Scoreboard which would compare the progress, difficulties and needs of regions and cities in relation to the achievement of the Lisbon Strategy's objectives.

This monitoring exercise will be supervised by a scientific research team, comprising Lacave Allemand & Associates, in cooperation with the MERIT research laboratory (United Nations University-Maastricht Economic and social Research and training centre on Innovation and Technology).

The results will be published on the CoR's website, via an interactive web platform, which will be up and running in October 2006. Local and regional authorities will also be able to use the platform to exchange experiences and good practices.

According to last summer's CoR survey, only 17% of local and regional authorities were actually satisfied with their role in the preparation of the national reform programmes (NRPs), which set out member states’ strategic plans for growth and employment for 2005-2008. The CoR has, repeatedly criticised the fact that the potential contribution of local and regional tiers has not been taken into consideration.

The Presidency Conclusions of the Spring European Council of 23/24 March 2006 strongly welcomed the CoR's initiatives to increase local and regional authorities’ ownership of the Lisbon Agenda. On the eve of the European Council, on 1 March 2006, the CoR organised a Territorial Dialogue to raise awareness of the urgent need to involve local and regional authorities in the Lisbon Strategy; the event was attended by Commission vice-president Günther Verheugen, and Danuta Hübner, Commissioner for Regional Policy. Over one hundred representatives of European local and regional authorities took part.

The CoR President, Michel Delebarre said that, "The Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs is currently the major political project of the European Union. It is this project that has the potential to rebuild confidence in European integration. It is against this project that the 'Europe of results' proposed by Commission President Barroso will be measured. This monitoring exercise will provide a transparent way of keeping track of what is happening at the grassroots in Europe’s cities and regions.”

The number of regional and local authorities participating in the monitoring exercise needs to grow from year to year.

The deadline for applications is May 2006.

Local and regional authorities will be selected on a "first-come, first-served" basis with a view to ensuring a correct balance between the 11 regional profiles that cover all regions in the 25 Member States. The 11 different regional profiles were determined via indicators based on EUROSTAT data relating to the Lisbon Strategy. The classification underlines that Europe’s regions face different challenges, above and beyond those related to different national contexts.
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Item source: COR/06/59 Date: 22/06/2006

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