The Bureau can be thought of as the CoR's political driving force in that it draws up the Committee's political programme at the start of each new term, oversees its implementation and generally coordinates the work of the plenary sessions and the commissions.

As a rule, the Bureau meets six times a year before each of the six plenary sessions in Brussels and two times a year in extraordinary meetings, which are held in the Member State that takes up the Council presidency.

As the CoR's political driving force, the Bureau has to reflect the pluralism – particularly political pluralism - that exists within the Committee. Consequently, the composition of the Bureau takes the following form:

  • the President
  • the first Vice-President
  • 28 other Vice-Presidents (one for each Member State)
  • 28 other members
  • the chairmen of the political groups.

France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom each have three seats; Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Sweden each have two seats; Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta and Slovenia each have one seat.

Like the President, the Bureau has a term of two and a half years.

The Bureau has the following tasks:

a) establishment and submission to the Plenary assembly of its policy programme at the beginning of each term, monitoring of its implementation and presentation of the annual and end-of-term assessments;

b) preparation, organisation and coordination of the work of the Plenary Assembly and the commissions;

c) adoption, on the proposal of the commissions, of their annual work programme;

d) overall responsibility for financial, organisational and administrative matters concerning members and alternates; internal organisation of the Committee, its Secretariat-General, including the establishment plan, and its constituent bodies;

e) engagement of the Secretary-General and the officials and other servants listed in Rule 73 of the CoR Rules of Procedure;

f) submission of the draft estimates of expenditure and revenue to the Plenary Assembly in accordance with Rule 75 of the CoR Rules of Procedure;

g) authorisation of meetings away from the usual place of work;

h) drawing-up of provisions for the membership and working methods of working groups, joint committees with applicant countries and other political bodies in which CoR's members participate;

i) decision to bring an action or an application to intervene before the Court of Justice of the European Union, when the Plenary Assembly is not able to take such a decision within the deadline.

The Bureau may also:
  • set up working groups of Bureau members or of Committee members to advise it in specific areas;
  • invite other members of the Committee, by virtue of their expertise or mandate, and persons not belonging to the Committee, to attend its meetings.