Adopted by the Committee of the Regions (CoR) in April 2014 and supported by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, the Charter is a political manifesto from European cities and regions urging all levels of government to use “multilevel governance” as a guiding principle in policy design, helping to learn from each other, share best practices and further develop participatory democracy.
This initiative marks the strong will of regional and local authorities to become fully-fledged partners in EU policy-making. Only by acting together can responsible actors at all levels of governance close the ‘delivery gap’ ensuring the EU meets its objectives on sustainable growth, quality jobs creation and territorial cohesion.
Although not legally binding, the Charter will commit its signatories to use a multilevel governance approach in their policy and project design. This is all part of the CoRs’ commitment to ensuring a good application of the subsidiarity principle, which places decisions at the most effective level and as close to citizens as possible. Why sign the Charter?
With its 2009 White Paper on Multilevel governance, the CoR launched a public consultation for drafting the charter. The CoR then renewed this commitment in a report on “Building a European culture of multilevel governance: follow-up to the Committee of the Regions’ White Paper“. Since then the CoR has actively been developing a method for monitoring usage of multilevel governance by European institutions, regularly produces a scoreboard on the issue, and is working on compiling good multilevel governance practices in cooperation with the European Commission.