European work is becoming increasingly important in the municipalities; European projects and guidelines are having an increasing influence on local life and activities. European policy is increasingly also local policy, as it directly or indirectly affects local authority tasks and areas of responsibility. This change is also becoming evident in our municipalities in Baden-Württemberg. In the meantime, every district has a European Commissioner and many cities and municipalities have a European Coordinator.
These colleagues play a central role in local european work. The CEMR has summarized the important work of these colleagues in a short video.
Local european work is often identified with EU funding. But it is much more diverse. The five pillars of CEMR - German Section's work on Europe at local level are presented here as excerpts. Here you can download the brochure of CEMR.
Effective information and communication channels play a fundamental role in local european work. Thereby, a distinction can be made between internal and external networking. Internally, focused on the own administration, the aim is to make the colleagues familiar with the EU topics which are relevant for them and to network them. This can also be extended to the local or county council as political bodies. External networking can support the exchange of experience and mutual learning. Possible actors also include the business community, academia and civil society. In addition, municipalities can become members of European networks.
European capability in the administration
The European coordinators and European officers have a central role to play in making the administration fit for Europe. In this context, further training in the EU context, language qualifications and training in intercultural skills can be implemented. This cornerstone is important for active participation as the fourth political level in the european multi-level system.
Another way to experience Europe is to see for yourself what is happening at the EU level. The European Office of the municipalitites of Baden-Württemberg is happy to provide support for delegation trips and help arrange interlocutors from EU institutions and interest groups. It also invites delegates to attend a presentation on its tasks and new developments at the EU level.
Communication and information
This involves processing information, for example from Brüssel Aktuell and forwarding it to the relevant colleagues in the administration. In relation to citizens, municipalities become active as an interface between citizens and the European Union - as an important multiplier of EU issues on the local level. This actively contributes to the increase in legitimacy of the European Union.
The European Union supports local projects through the European Structural and Investment Funds, for example the ERDF or ESF+, but also through EU action programs, for example Erasmus+ or CERV. The European Office of the municipalities of Baden-Württemberg supports its member municipalities thereby with an EU funding manual.
Influence on and of EU legislation and EU policy
Municipalities can take action themselves to represent their interests towards the European Union. Thereby, the municipal state and umbrella organizations play an important role in representing these interests in Brussels.