Markku Markkula © EPP Group in the CoR
Markku Markkula © EPP Group in the CoR

CoR expected to elect new head

After leading the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) for two-and-a-half years, Markku Markkula is expected to hand over the role to Belgian Karl-Heinz Lambertz.

CoR members will also gather on 12 July in Brussels to discuss the Estonian EU Presidency and debate EU policies.

EU Commissioner for Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas will lead discussions on the mid-term review of the Horizon 2020 research programme, while Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc will join CoR members to discuss the future of low-emission mobility and the Connecting Europe Facility.

In its mid-term appraisal of Horizon 2020, the CoR will illustrate the importance of research and innovation on the long-term prospects of the European economy. Moedas will debate the CoR’s recommendations.

Speaking in the Estonian capital Tallinn, Markkula joined members of the Commission for Environment, Climate Change and Energy to reaffirm their commitment to making Europe’s energy transition the driver for combatting global warming, recovering economic growth and boosting jobs.

The UN’s climate talks are to take place in Bonn, Germany, in November and the EU’s cities and regions said alliances with their American counterparts would be strengthened to work on a renewed global climate coalition.

Markkula said: “Europe must continue to show leadership on climate change by being even more innovative and transforming our energy supply.

“Tallinn city – a pioneer in sustainable development – demonstrates that with the right EU funds and the right vision, we can build a sustainable future. This is why our committee is building an alliance for a strong, effective and more visible cohesion policy, which is more important than ever under the Estonian Presidency.

“For the sake of a united, sustainable and more inclusive European future, the EU’s cohesion policy after 2020 must have the same financial proportion as it has today.”

A CoR member since 1999, Lambertz has been a member of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and is currently the president of its Socialist Group. From March 2013 until June 2014, he was president of the Euregio Maas-Rhine and is currently president of the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR).