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A Europe of Regions

A quick note to bring to your attention the Committee of the Regions (CoR) a political assembly that provides local and regional authorities with a voice at the heart of the European Union.

"A new sustainable governance model to build "Europe in Partnership" can only be achieved with the active involvement and institutional recognition of Europe’s regions. Thus, once the Lisbon Treaty is in force, the devolution of legislative powers within Member States to sub-national levels must be taken into account at European level. Multi-level governance has to become the foundation of Europe's good governance,"

Centralisation cannot be the basis for an effective Europe - Europe needs a new Masterplan; read more here.

The Welsh language has also made its debut within the European Union at the CoR. Perhaps it’s to be followed by the other UK regional languages including Cornish?

Despite English becoming ever more present in the working and personal life of millions of EU citizens, the United Kingdom is rich in regional languages, from Cornwall to Shetland. It is therefore appropriate that in 2008, the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue; the CoR will recognise this and grant special status to the UK regional languages.

At the initiative of the UK government, the CoR Bureau on 25 November took a decision that will allow languages that are officially recognised in the UK to be spoken in CoR meetings. Just as with Basque and Catalan, the cost of interpretation, and translation of documents on request, will be borne by the UK Government.

The first beneficiary is expected to be Welsh. Welsh and English have the same status in Wales, where about one-in-five of the population speak it. At present there is just one Welsh speaker in the Committee of the Regions, alternate member Nerys Evans (Plaid Cymru), who is a member of the National Assembly for Wales. Local councils and the Welsh Assembly issue their literature and publicity in Welsh versions, and most road signs in Wales are in English and Welsh.

Original article here.

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