Local authorities are central to the delivery of economic, environmental and social policy and programmes initiating from the European Union and the wider international arena. Delivery has been demonstrated through the expertise brought to, and developed through, previous and current EU funding programmes within the region and increasingly directly from the EU Commission Initiatives. Enhanced influence, cooperation and collaboration at EU and international level are vital to promote economic development, tackle worklessness and climate change.
The benefits of shared work by local authorities have a long tradition and are internationally recognised. The Council of Europe (CoE) established the first European Conference of Local Authorities in 1957, which led to the formation of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities. Subsequently the CoE has been convinced that the Congress is playing an exemplary role in pursuing the common values enshrined in the Council of Europe Statute, in particular democracy. The Committee of Ministers adopted a new Charter of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities on 2 May 2007 in order to consolidate and develop the role of local and regional authorities in the institutional framework of the Council of Europe.
The formation of the EU Committee of the Regions in 1994, through the Treaty of the European Union, embedded the recognised additional economic, environmental and social contribution local authorities play in the political development of European and international policy.
Whilst the principle EU focus is understandable in terms of policy impact and funding, proximity and shared culture, it is clear that for such issues as economic development, local authorities need to ensure, in line with enhanced economic development responsibilities, that they nurture and develop international trade links and play there full role in stimulating demand for locally based products and services.
A great deal of activity is already taking place within local authorities, on both international links as well as European activity. The opportunity exists for LGYH, local authorities, police and fire authorities, with key partners in business and universities, to take an enhanced collaborative strategic approach to develop and improve on such opportunities.
How this will be achieved?
Working with and through LGA European and International Unit, EU officials and MEPs we will ensure improved understanding to seize all opportunities for Leaders to maximise influence in the above areas.
LGYH will play a fully supportive and facilitative role in developing European and international working for direct benefit to local authorities.
As practical expressions of the above policy, the following areas are set out for development to demonstrate the commitment to cooperation by and delivery for localities. Being clear from the outset of what is wanted and expected from any activity and subsequently demonstrating the benefits to local service delivery is essential, especially in relation to lobbying and exchange activity. As well as influence policy and its impact on localities this work will also seek to maximise appropriate funding into the region.
Specific deliverables will include:
- Development of the European Officers Network to examine and influence EU policy direction and developments,
- Ensure the development of collaboration within the region on EU and international issues e.g. with business and universities,
- Develop and deliver study exchanges with European and international cities and regions to gain and share experience and expertise where added value can be demonstrated. Booklets outlining the study visits done so far can be downloaded below.
- Encourage and support secondments of local authority officers to the Yorkshireurope Office,
- Support the development of Interreg and other funding opportunities and applications to maximise the financial benefits to local authorities and the region,
- Monitoring and implementation of EU legislation.
For more information about our work in and with Europe, contact us.
Duisburg Study Tour
Valencia Study Tour
Service Transformation in the North - In June 2014, NLGN and its partners convened a workshop to discuss how councils in the North were integrating and transforming their public services. This paper summarises the discussion. More information here.
APPG Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire report following the session on the bioeconomy is now online, along with the APPG letter sent to Lord DeMauley following the meeting . More information here.
Yorkshire and Humber Local Authorities have submitted a joint letter to the DfT Rail Franchising consultation . More information here.
The APPG Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire report following the session on local transport investment and growth is now available. More information here.