On December 13th, the CoR Bureau discussed the 2nd CoR Monitoring Report on Europe 2020. Bridging the partnership gap between different tiers of government is needed to make Europe 2020 happen. Commenting on the findings of the Report and addressing representatives of local and regional authorities, the European Commission's President Barroso declared: "We need your full commitment but we also need to make sure that you are fully involved. This partnership gap has to be closed."
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PREFACE and EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Findings of the Report, among others based on the outcome of our Europe 2020 Monitoring Platform activities (i.e. in 2011, a total of 210 questionnaires were submitted to the four surveys organised by the Platform), show that:
- an immense effort by EU cities and regions is already being made in virtually all policy fields,
- the Europe 2020 Flagship Initiatives are viewed as potentially helpful by local and regional authorities across the EU. Greater knowledge of the policy measures proposed by each of them would even further increase their relevance for local and regional policies.
- however, in spite of some progress, Europe 2020 is still being hampered by a "partnership gap": in most cases, local and regional authorities were merely consulted, but not involved as partners, in the design and implementation of the National Reform Programmes,
- multi-level governance approaches, including territorial pacts, have been implemented or planned in a few, mostly thematic, cases until now. Their broad adoption would help the strategy to deliver and increase ownership of Europe 2020 by Europe's citizens.
This document honours the commitment made by the CoR Bureau in October 2010, to present an annual assessment to the other EU institutions of how the implementation of Europe 2020 is seen by local and regional authorities in the EU and whether the principle of partnership between all tiers of government is being adopted in the design and implementation of the new strategy by means of multilevel governance tools, such as Territorial Pacts. As provided for by the Bureau in September 2011, this document feeds into the preparations for the 2012 European Semester.