Polish delegation to the CoR

Polish delegation to the European Committee of the Regions

The Poles have been participating in the works of the European Committee of the Regions since July 2003, when 95 observers members from 10 countries, which were to enter the European Union on the 1st May 2004, were accepted in this EU body. Since the latter date Polish delegates have been  participating in the CoR meetings as full members.

The works of Polish delegation

The principal task of the members of our national delegation to the European Committee of the Regions is the representation of Polish local and regional governments interests on the European forum. They fulfil it by the participation - by preparation of opinions - in the EU legislative process and by the resolutions taken up by the CoR upon its own initiative. The tasks of the CoR members also include informing the EU forum about the issues which are important to the regional and local authorities in Poland, as well as the promotion of activities taken up by the European Union in their own environment in their home country.

Although Polish delegation members, just like the representatives of other countries, belong to supranational political groups (at present there are four such groups), they participate in the national delegation meetings in order to inform one another about their works and to discuss the issues which are the most important from the Polish perspective. The representatives of the European Commission, the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the EU and of other institutions are also often invited to Polish delegation meetings. Apart from the participation in the commissions meetings and plenary sessions, the delegates also participate in different conferences, seminars and meetings organized in co-operation with the CoR both in Brussels and in many EU member states.

Under the Polish presidency of the EU Council in the 2nd half year of 2011, the delegation members initiated a number of significant events, organized by the CoR in Poland. Upon the invitation of Marek Woźniak, the inauguration meeting of the Permanent Conference of the Regional and Local Authorities for the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP) took place in Poznań on September 8th, and one day later there was an external meeting of the European Committee of the Regions’ Bureau. Upon the initiative of Adam Struzik,  the COTER Commission was in session on October 19th in Warsaw, and the next day the same Commission – thanks to Leszek Świętalski and Jerzy Zająkała – organized a seminar “What kind of cohesion policy should there be after 2013?”, which was organized under the 1st European Congress of Rural Communes.

The works of Polish delegation are co-ordinated by the Information Office of the Wielkopolska Region in Brussels.

The composition of Polish delegation

Polish delegation to the Committee of the Regions has 21 full members and 21 alternate members. In terms of number of delegates it ranks fifth among national representations in the CoR.

The head of Polish delegation is Marek Woźniak – the President of the Wielkopolska Region. He has held this function since April 2008 (and he has been a CoR member since February 2006) and at the same time he is a Bureau member and the vice-president of the CoR.

The present composition of the delegation:

*members (and commissions they work in):
Paweł Adamowicz – Mayor of Gdańsk (COTER, ECON)
Jarosław Dworzański – President of Podlaskie Regional Assembly (ECON, NAT)
Olgierd Geblewicz – President of Westpomerania Region (CIVEX, NAT)
Adam Sebastian Jarubas – President of Świętokrzyskie Region (ECON, SEDEC)
Lech Jaworski – Member of Warsaw City Council (ECON, SEDEC)
Zbigniew Podraza – Mayor of Dąbrowa Górnicza (SEDEC, NAT)
Witold Stępień –President of Łódzkie Region (COTER, ENVE)
Mieczysław Struk – President of Pomeranian Region (COTER, NAT)
Adam Struzik – President of Mazovia Region (COTER, ENVE)
Stanisław Szwabski – President of Gdynia City Council (COTER, CIVEX)
Marek Tramś – Head of Polkowice District (SEDEC, CIVEX)
Tadeusz Truskolaski – Mayor of Białystok (COTER, ECON)
Ludwik Kajetan Węgrzyn – Member of Bochnia District Council (ECON, CIVEX)
Marek Woźniak – President of Wielkopolska Region (COTER, CIVEX)
Dariusz Wróbel – Mayor of Opole Lubelskie (CIVEX, NAT)
Jerzy Zająkała – Head of Łubianka Commune (SEDEC, NAT)

* Deputy Members:

Adam Banaszak – Member of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Regional Assembly
Stanisław Bodys – Mayor of Rejowiec Fabryczny
Andrzej Buła - President of the Opolskie Region
Piotr Całbecki – President of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Region
Bogdan Dyjuk – President of the Podlasie Regional Assembly
Robert Godek –Head of the Strzyżów District Council
Arkadiusz Godlewski - Member of Katowice City Council
Marzena Kempińska –Head of Świecie District Council
Józef Kotyś – Member of the Opolskie Regional Assembly
Andrzej Kunt –Mayor of Kostrzyna nad Odrą
Lucjan Kuźniar - Member of the Podkarpackie Regional Assembly
Mirosław Lech – Head of the Korycin Commune
Marek Olszewski –Head of the Lubicz Commune
Włądysław Ortyl - President of the Podkarpackie Region
Joachim Smyła - Head of the Lubliniec District
Hanna Zdanowska –Mayor of Łódź

Also see:
- the composition of Polish delegation at the beginning of the 2006-2009 term
- the composition of  Polish delegation at the end of 2006-2009 term

The Nice Treaty signed in 2001 established that the CoR members must be elected members of a local or a regional body or be politically accountable to an elected local or regional assembly.
Polish delegates to the CoR are designated by the following local government corporations: the Association of the Regions of the Republic of Poland (10 members and the same number of deputy members), the Association of Polish Poviats (3), the Association of Polish Cities (3), the Union of Polish Metropolises (2), the Association of Rural Communes of the Republic of Poland (2), the Union of Polish Towns (1).

What is the European Committee of the Regions?

The European Committee of the Regions has existed since 1994. It was set up by the Maastricht Treaty and its competences greatly increased after the Lisbon treaty entered into force. It is an advisory body of the European Commission, the EU Council and the European Parliament.

Upon  presenting a new legislative proposal, the Commission must consult the CoR if its  proposal concerns any of many policy areas that directly affect local and regional authorities. The Lisbon treaty also made it obligatory for the CoR to be consulted by the European Parliament,  giving the Committee the opportunity comment on any changes made to the proposed legislation by members of European Parliament. CoR also has the right to question the Commission, the Parliament and the Council if these institutions fail to take on board its viewpoint. In exceptional circumstances the CoR shall also be entitled to  approach the European Court of Justice, if it considers that the European Commission, the Parliament or the Council did not consult it in the manner established in the provisions of the treaty. The CoR also takes up resolutions in the area of current political issues upon its own initiative.

At present the CoR has 350 members and the same number of deputy members from 28 European Union countries.

Five political groups are represented in the CoR: European People’s Party (EPP), Party of European Socialists (PSE), Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), European Alliance (EA) and the European Conservatives and Reformists Group.

CoR members meet five times a year during plenary sessions; they also work in six permanent commissions and in exceptional circumstances also in the ad hoc commissions.
Permanent commissions have been listed below:
CIVEX – Commission for Citizenship, Governance, Institutional and External Affairs
COTER – Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy
ECOS – Commission for Economic and Social Policy
EDUC – Commission for Education, Youth and Research
ENVE – Commission for Environment, Climate Change and Energy
NAT – Commission for Natural Resources

See also:
- The most important dates in the European Committee of the Regions’ history
- CoR website

Małgorzata Sylla
Information Office of the Wielkopolska Region in Brussels.
Rue Montoyer 21,
1000 Brussels
Phone no: +32 2 734 09 41,
Phone no.: +48 61 278 53 97
Fax no: +32 2 734 09 44
Fax no: +48 61 278 53 95
E-mail: izabela.gorczyca@wielkopolska.eu
Izabela Gorczyca
Director of the Information Office of the Wielkopolska Region in Brussels
Rue Montoyer 21,
1000 Brussels
Phone no.: + 32 2 732 96 88
Phone no.: + 48 61 278 53 96
Cell phone no.: +32 474 316 583
Fax no: + 32 2 734 09 44
E-mail:  monika.kapturska@wielkopolska.eu