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Regionkommittén (ReK)

Regionkommitténs ledare valda till ledamöter av Europaparlamentet

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836The president of the EU’s Committee of the Regions – Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso – and First Vice President Mercedes Bresso (avbildad) valdes båda till parlamentsledamöter i Spanien respektive Italien under valet till Europaparlamentet förra helgen.

Ramón Luis Valcárcel was elected as an MEP and will represent the Spanish Popular Party in the new European Parliament which will form on 1July 2014. Valcárcel was previously elected President of the Committee of the Regions in July 2012 representing the European People’s Party Group (EPP) after a long political career as president of the region of Murcia.

“It has been a true honour to lead the Committee of the Regions over the past two years. Since I was elected a member back in 1995 the importance of the Committee has grown reflecting the necessity for local and regional government to have its say in the EU. Local and regional politicians must be further involved in the EU decision-making process to enlarge the democratic legitimacy of the European project and to counter balance the arguments of the populist parties on the ground. As an MEP I will continue to ensure that cities and regional governments have an even greater say in the future of the European Union,” Valcárcel said.

Mercedes Bresso, who is first vice president of the Committee representing the Party of European Socialists (PES) Group, won in the north-west district of Piedmont-Lombardy-Liguria-Val d’Aosta and will take her post as an MEP representing Italy’s Democratic Party. Having originally joined the Committee in 1998 this will be the second time she will sit in the European Parliament after her previous experience as an MEP from 2004-2005.

Bresso said: “It has been a unique opportunity to be president then first vice president of the Committee of the Regions helping shape a new role for regional and local authorities in the EU decision making process, a challenge that over the past few years was made ever more urgent by the recent economic, social and institutional crisis of Europe. We have succeeded in promoting the role of local and regional authorities as being crucial in ensuring social cohesion and promoting growth as well as building new bridges between Europe’s regions and cities with partners in the Mediterranean and Eastern neighbourhood countries. This experience will be at the very heart of my commitment as an MEP in which building a better Union is the only way to counter the alarming wave of racism and extreme nationalism.”

The Committee’s members will meet at its plenary on Juni 26 in Brussels and elect a new president and first vice president. The plenary session will also coincide with the Committee’s 20th anniversary celebrations.

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