Committee of the Regions
The Committee of the Regions is a consultative body that allows local and regional authorities to take part in EU legislative work.
Its 353 members usually comprise elected local or regional politicians, leaders of regional governments, or the mayors of cities. They are nominated for five years by the Council on the basis of a proposal made by each country, in numbers that reflect national populations. The Committee's president and bureau are appointed by the members and serve a two and a half year term of office.
To keep in close touch with their electors and with their cities, regions or territories, the members of the Committee of the Regions live and work in their home country. Six times a year, they travel to Brussels to take part in the Committee's plenary sessions. They also serve as members of the Committee's commissions working in six policy areas:
• territorial cohesion policy
• economic and social policy
• environment, climate change and energy
• education, youth, culture and research
• citizenship, governance, institutional and external affairs
• natural resources
These commissions put forward draft opinions containing their points in favour and against a particular topic. After adoption in Committee plenary, the text is transmitted to the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.
The Committee must be consulted when legislation is drafted in twelve areas impacting on regional or local life; additionally, however, the institutions may also consult the Committee whenever they consider it appropriate. The Committee also upholds the three fundamental principles of subsidiarity, proximity, and partnership.