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Technical Platform for Cooperation on the Environment
DG Environment and the Committee of the Regions

Local and Regional Authorities and Environment

Local and regional authorities are crucial actors in environmental protection, as they are often responsible for rule-making and undertaking investments, and can have inspection and oversight functions.

Therefore, local and regional authorities must be considered as genuine partners within the governance structure underpinning the implementation of EU environment law and participate jointly with the other tiers of government in the formulation of EU policies, not least through the Committee of the Regions.

The CoR Opinion on the role of local and regional authorities in future environmental policy (CdR 164/2010 final) underlined the necessity of involving them in all phases of EU policy, and suggested to set up a regular forum to address regional and local problems and solutions in the application of EU environment law.

The Technical Platform became one of the actions referred to in the European Commission's 2012 Communication on better implementation in the area of environment (COM(2012)95 final).

The General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 "Living well, within the limits of our planet" (7th EAP), as decided by the European Parliament and the Council, gives a renewed impetus to implementation.

The Technical Platform is explicitly referred to in point 59 of the 7th Environment Action Programme. This places it on a sound and long-term basis. The CoR and DG Environment services are currently exploring how to further enhance the platform on the basis of this reinforced mandate.

 

What is the Technical Platform for Cooperation on the Environment?

The Technical Platform is a new forum set up by the Committee of the Regions' Commission for Environment, Climate Change and Energy (ENVE) and DG ENV aimed at fostering dialogue on local and regional problems and solutions in the application of EU environment law. It was launched by Commissioner Janez Potočnik  and CoR Vice-President Mercedes Bresso on 5 December 2012.

The objectives of the Technical Platform are:

  • to allow dialogue on implementation issues of mutual interest and exchange of best practices at a technical level;
  • to facilitate a cooperation between local and regional environmental administrations and DG ENV and the CoR's ENVE Commission;
  • to overall contribute to improvements in environmental outcomes;
  • to strengthen the cooperation between the CoR's ENVE commission and DG ENV;
  • to provide technical input to the work of the CoR's ENVE commission, thereby reinforcing an evidence-based approach in its ongoing work in this field.

 

How does the Technical Platform work? Who can participate?

The Technical Platform is mainly aimed at bringing together practitioners from local and regional administrations in the European Union, experts and stakeholders, EU officials as well as interested CoR members.

In practice, the work of the technical platform is carried out through meetings co-organised by the Secretariat of the Committee of the Regions' Commission for Environment, Climate Change and Energy and the Directorate-General for the Environment of the European Commission, in cooperation with relevant ad-hoc partners on issues of the agenda.

Up to two meetings of the Technical Platform are to be held each year on thematic issues of common interest. These meetings will normally be held during or in association with the EU Green Week and the EU Open Days.

 

CoR Opinions

In November 2012, the CoR adopted an Opinion "Towards a 7th Environment Action Programme: Better Implementation of EU environment law".

 

Conferences and Events

4th Meeting of the Technical Platform - OPEN DAYS workshop on 'Improving waste water management – support from the European Structural and Investment Funds', 8 October 2014

The 4th meeting will be organised during the OPEN DAYS - European Week of Regions and Cities 2014. It will look at success stories at different governance levels involved in waste water management, in particular from regional and local authorities, which applied e.g. clear strategies, supportive national and regional frameworks, a close cooperation of authorities, a sound financial planning supported by the ESI Funds or adequate public participation.

The workshop will take place on Wednesday, 8 October 2014, from 14.30 to 17.00, at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels.

To participate, please register for session no 08B08 via the main OPEN DAYS registration page.

 

3rd Meeting of the Technical Platform - 4 June 2014

The 3rd meeting took place on 4 June 2014 during the EU Green Week. It consisted of a session on 'Gearing up cities for the circular economy'.

Mercedes Bresso: Welcome

Prof. Maarten Hajer: City-level Decoupling: governing the transition in European cities

Merete Kristoffersen: Copenhagen's experience as European Green Capital 2014 of an integrated approach on circular economy

Françoise Bonnet: Advancing local circular economies by moving to zero waste

Mark Hidson: Sustainable public procurement to promote resource-efficient cities in Europe – the way forward

 

2nd Meeting of the Technical Platform – 9 October 2013

The 2nd meeting took place on 9 October 2013 during the OPEN DAYS – European Week of Regions and Cities. It consisted of a workshop on "Waste management systems – investing in line with the waste hierarchy".

 

1st Meeting of the Technical Platform – 6 June 2013

The 1st meeting  took place on 6 June 2013 during EU Green Week. It consisted of two Green Week sessions on "Urban air quality – challenges and opportunities for European green cities" and on "New ways in governance to help cities improve air quality".

Session 8.1 - Urban air quality – challenges & opportunities for European green cities:
Anna-Maria Spyriouni: London: improving air quality through transport-based measures
Yves Gouriten: Qualité de l'air urbain: la recherche d'un équilibre entre différentes politiques publiques
Giuseppe Bortone: Urban air quality – the challenges and opportunities for European green cities
Charlotte Korsgaard: Air quality in Copenhagen– challenges and solutions

Session 9.1 - New ways in governance to help cities improve air quality:
Cornelia Wappenschmidt: Tackling air quality by city cooperation – the Ruhrgebiet regional air quality plan
Cor Lamers: Air Quality Cross Governmental Dossier Teams
Claudia Terzi: Tripartite implementation agreements for improving air quality: experiences from the Lombardia case

 

Driving better implementation in our cities and regions – a key element in the 7th Environment Action Programme

Coinciding with the launch of the Technical Platform, a conference on "Driving better implementation in our cities and regions – a key element in the 7th Environment Action Programme" took place on 5 December 2012 in Brussels.

 

Contacts

CoR Carsten Brauns Carsten.Brauns@cor.europa.eu tel.02-282 2585
DG Environment Liam Cashman liam-joseph.cashman@ec.europa.eu tel.02-2990325
  Gerda Postelmans gerda.postelmans@ec.europa.eu tel.02-2959039