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Convention Item No 5 Nominations to Outside Bodies on European

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					                                                                                    Convention Item No : 5


                              Nominations to Outside Bodies on European Issues

Purpose
1.    This report places a number of vacancies for appointment to outside bodies covering various
European issues and functions.

Recommendation

2.       The Convention is recommended to :

                 i.    make recommendations to the Scottish Executive to fill the CoR vacancies;

                ii.    consider COSLA’s representation on CLRAE;

                iii.   nominate representatives to the CEMR Policy Committees;

                iv.    appoint a COSLA representative to the Central-Local Partnership Working Group on
                       the Future of Europe;

                v.     taking on board nominations received from the European partnerships and
                       Consortia, consider the Scottish local government representation on the Scottish
                       European Structural Funds Forum, including the appointment of a COSLA
                       representative, and remit to the Office-Bearers to consider any nominations received
                       from the Consortia after this meeting;

                vi.    taking on board nominations received from the European partnerships and
                       Consortia, to consider the Scottish local government representation on the
                       Programme Monitoring Committees, including the appointment of a COSLA
                       representative, and remit to the Office-Bearers to consider any nominations received
                       from the Consortia after this meeting;

               vii.    appoint a COSLA representative to the Objective 3 Partnership Board.

Detail
3.        It is recognised that appointment to outside bodies should properly await the establishment of
COSLA’s political structures. However, re-establishing our profile within Europe has highlighted a
number of bodies where there are vacancies and we would recommend to the Convention that we act
to fill these immediately in order to re-inforce the view that COSLA is back in business as far as Europe
is concerned.

Committee of the Regions
4.     The first and most high profile of these vacancies is the Committee of the Regions (CoR).
Scottish local government has 2 places and 2 alternate places to fill and these are filled through
nomination by COSLA as the representative organisation of local government. When these vacancies
were last filled, COSLA nominated Councillor Christine May (Fife), Councillor Corrie McChord (Stirling),
Councillor Hugh Halcro-Johnston and Councillor Joan Mitchell (Dumfries & Galloway).


27062003 nominations to outside bodies
5.     On 26th October 2001, it was reported to the Convention that the Scottish Parliament had
approved Councillors Christine May and Keith Brown as full members of the CoR and Councillors
Corrie McChord and Hugh Halcro-Johnston as alternate members. At that time, the Convention
expressed its serious concern that, in respect of both the nominations passed by the Executive to the
Scottish Parliament for approval and in respect of preferences for full and alternate members, the
wishes of COSLA had not been respected.

6.     Since Christine May and Hugh Halcro-Johnston are no longer local government elected
members, they have resigned their seats on the Committee of the Regions and it is recommended that
the Convention now fills these two vacancies.

Congress of Local & Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE)
7.      A further issue is nominations to the Congress of Local & Regional Authorities of Europe
(CLRAE). The Congress was established in 1994 and is a consultative body of the Council of Europe,
advising the Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council on all aspects of
local and regional policy. It works closely with national and international organisations representing
local and regional government. It promotes local democracy, the rule of law and human rights. The
Congress' major achievement lies with the European Charter of Local Self Government. This
establishes the basic principles of local government applicable across Europe. Numerous countries
have signed and ratified the charter, including the UK in 1998. The Congress meets in plenary session
at least once a year and all expenses of members are paid for by the Congress.

8.      There are 18 full and 18 substitute seats in the Congress. Under the allocation arrangements,
Scotland receives 2 full and 2 substitute seats. The practice has been that the seats are shared
between local government representatives nominated by COSLA, and members of the Scottish
Executive/Parliament. For the Regional Chamber, they are drawn from members of the Scottish
Executive/Parliament and COSLA nominates for the Local Chamber. In the past, the local
government places on the Congress have been taken up by the President and the Vice-President from
the minority parties. Operating on that same arrangement, in April 2002 the nominations were
approved of Councillor Pat Watters and Councillor Hugh Halcro-Johnston to take up the one full and
one substitute place available to local government on the Local Chamber. The Convention is therefore
invited to approve a replacement member for Hugh Halcro-Johnston.


Council of European Municipalities & Regions (CEMR)
9.     This body is essentially a local government association covering Europe and is the European
Section of IULA. It brings together 44 national associations of local and regional authorities from 31
European countries, predominantly from EU member states and the accession countries. It is, next to
the Committee of the Regions, a key platform for local/regional government interest formulation.
COSLA is a member of CEMR as part of the LGIB delegation.

10.      CEMR is active in lobbying across a wide range of local government interests and in particular
pursues subsidiarity to retain maximum influence for local and regional authorities.
It operates through a number of Policy Committees and COSLA is able to nominate elected members
to sit on these. Since they meet outside the UK, there is a significant time commitment associated with
these appointments but the CEMR is becoming increasingly influential so this is an ideal opportunity to
promote the agenda of Scottish local government in Europe.

11.     There is an immediate opportunity for Scottish members to take up a position on the Policy
Committee, previously held by Councillor Drew Tully. Representation on the Employers Platform is
currently held by Councillor Jimmy Mutter. Later there will also be new opportunities to fill positions in
the new thematic committees on sustainable development, cohesion policy and the Lisbon Agenda.




27062003 nominations to outside bodies
Central-Local Partnership Working Group on the Future of Europe
12.     The LGIB has asked COSLA to nominate a replacement for Christine May for a special central-
local government working group on the future of Europe. The group operates within the Central Local
Partnership framework, which is committed to joint working, consultation on all matters of concern and
exchange of information. Members of the group currently comprise the Minister for Europe and an MP
for the national government level. The Local Government International Bureau (LGIB) is represented
by its European and International Executive, led by Councillor Ken Bodfish, and the Northern Ireland
representative is Councillor Jonathan Bell.

The next meeting of the Group is 15 July 2003 in London.


Scottish European Structural Funds Forum
13.     This Forum is chaired by the Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning , Lewis
MacDonald, and is responsible for taking strategic decisions on structural funds in Scotland. Prior to
the elections, there were 5 representatives from local government – one from each of the 4 European
Consortia and one from COSLA. We have advised the Scottish Executive that COSLA will co-ordinate
and make a set of recommendations from Scottish local government as a whole. We have advised the
European Consortia that nominations should come through the Convention and asked for their
recommendations to be forwarded to us. The Highlands & Islands Partnership is recommending
Councillor Alison Magee, Convener of Highland Council.

The next meeting of the Forum is on 30th June.


Programme Monitoring Committees
14.    The Scottish Executive has been looking at the local authority members on Programme
Monitoring Committees following the elections and has asked COSLA for a steer in filling these. We
have advised that COSLA will co-ordinate and make a set of recommendations from Scottish local
government as a whole. There are 5 PMC’s – Highlands & Islands; Objective 2 – east, west and
south; and Objective 3. We have advised the European Consortia that nominations should come
through the Convention and asked for their recommendations to be forwarded to us.

Objective 3 Partnership Board
15.     Previously this position had been filled by Christine May who resigned before the election. On
a temporary basis, Alex McGhee as Chair of WOSEC was put forward to fill the vacancy. Now that he
is no longer an elected member, the Objective 3 Partnership has asked COSLA to make another
nomination to the Board of Directors


Barbara Lindsay, Corporate Adviser (Business Management)
0131 474 9206 barbara@cosla.gov.uk




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