CEMR Policy Committee meets in Maastricht as part of Europe Calling!
Almost 25 years after the Maastricht Treaty was signed, city and regional government leaders from across Europe came together in Limburg’s Provincial Government buildings in Maastricht to talk about the future that they envisage for Europe and the role they believe local and regional authorities should play.
Europe’s regions are united in the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR). The CEMR was founded in 1951 and consists of the representatives of local, inter-local and regional authorities from 41 countries. The Europe Calling! Programme – which marks the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Maastricht Treaty – gave the CEMR a perfect opportunity to discuss the future of the regions on our continent, and to do so precisely where the foundations for the European Union were laid.
During his opening remarks, the King’s Commissioner for the Province of Limburg, Theo Bovens, emphasised the importance of cooperation between regions, especially those, like Limburg, that exist in an international setting. “Think of how much safer, smarter and stronger Europe would be if we were prepared to build bridges, especially in border regions. Here in Limburg we are already doing that by working as closely as we can with our German and Belgian neighbours.”
After the King’s Commissioner kicked off the proceedings, Hildegard Schneider (Maastricht University), Stefano Bonaccini (President of the Emilia Romagna region of Italy) and other speakers reviewed the state of affairs in today’s Europe. They also painted a picture of how they believe Europe will look in the future. The second half of the conference explored the role of the regions in that future Europe. Yvan Mayeur (Mayor of Brussels) and Ewa Janczar (President of the Warsaw municipal council) were among those who shared their ideas.
The afternoon session was taken up with the CEMR’s regular meeting, while the evening programme featured a walking dinner in St John’s Church in Maastricht, where those present celebrated not only the silver anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty but also the tenth anniversary of The Charter on Gender Equality.
fotografie: Johannes Timmermans