Parliamentary Assembly

Doc. 10844
3 March 2006

Regionalisation in Europe

Motion for a recommendation
presented by Mr de Puig and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

1.       The processes of decentralisation and regionalisation are under way in most European countries. In some of those counties, the regions have taken on undeniable political importance and influence; many of them now have institutions, powers and funding of their own. Some of them also have parliaments, in a number of cases with legislative powers.

2.       The Parliamentary Assembly has always striven to promote regional democracy and self-government, a position repeatedly demonstrated in numerous recommendations, statements concerning the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and at Conferences of European Ministers responsible for local and regional government.

3.       The Assembly also notes that the regions are increasingly active on the European scene and have gradually become organised in European associations of regions and within the framework of European institutions (Congress of the Council of Europe and Committee of the Regions of the European Union). In this connection, the setting up of a Chamber of Regions within the Congress was a major step forward at the Council of Europe, quite rightly welcomed by the Assembly.

4.       The Assembly, in particular through its Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs, has developed its relations and co-operation with the Congress, especially in the promotion of regional co-operation in different regions of Europe (for example in the Adriatic region). However, in the light of the political development of Europe, the Assembly would like even stronger recognition of the role of the regions at European level, particularly within the Council of Europe and the Congress, notably where regions with legislative powers are concerned.

5.       Furthermore, it believes that the adoption of a "European Charter of regional self-government" as a Council of Europe convention would provide European regions with an international legal guarantee of respect for their autonomy and would serve as a benchmark for continuing the regionalisation process in the member States. The Assembly has been voicing support for the initiative of drafting such a document for some years. A convention of this kind would be the necessary complement to the European Charter of local self-government, which has now become one of the Council of Europe's reference conventions. Recognition of regional self-government would be a fitting supplement to the recognition and legal protection of autonomy and subsidiarity, which are central elements of political democracy according to the Council of Europe's criteria.

6.       The Assembly is convinced that the political and institutional role of the regions, particularly those with legislative powers, not only at domestic level but also on the European political scene and in European construction, requires that they participate in the framing of European policies. Consequently, the Assembly calls on the member States and the European institutions to:

i. grant an active role and extended powers to the regions, particularly at European level;
ii. speed up the process of adopting a legal instrument on regional self-government.

Signed 1:

de PUIG, Lluís Maria, Spain, SOC
de MELO, Maria Manuela, Portugal, SOC
DODDS, Nigel, United Kingdom, EDG
DUPRAZ, John, Switzerland, ALDE
FLYNN, Paul, United Kingdom, SOC
GUBERT, Renzo, Italy, EPP/CD
HUSKOWSKI, Stanislaw, Poland, EPP/CD,
HUSS, Jean, Luxembourg, SOC
JAKAVONIS, Gediminas, Lithuania, ALDE
KOLESNIKOV, Victor, Russian Federation, EDG
KUŽVART, Miloš, Czech Republic, SOC
MAISSEN, Theo, Switzerland, EPP/CD
MANIURA, Edward, Poland, EPP/CD
MEALE, Alan, United Kingdom, SOC
PUCHE, Gabino, Spain, EPP/CD
SCHMIED, Walter, Switzerland, ALDE
TXUEKA, Iñaki, Spain, ALDE
VIS, Rudi, United Kingdom, SOC

1    SOC: Socialist Group
       EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party
       ALDE: Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
       EDG: European Democratic Group
       UEL: Group of the Unified European Left
       NR: not registered in a group