Governance and Foresight

European integration is a constant work in progress. In addition to its traditional core mission as the EU's assembly of regional and local representatives, the Committee of the Regions wants to encourage a wide-ranging debate on the future of Europe beyond the Brussels institutions.
The Committee of the Regions has a vision of a European Union working in partnership: a Union fostering a culture of multilevel governance (MLG). Europe will be stronger, its institutions more legitimate, its policies more effective, and its citizens more involved and engaged if cooperation is guaranteed between the different tiers of governance, in order to meet the European Union's political agenda and face the global challenges.

In 2009, the Committee of the Regions published a White Paper on Multilevel Governance.  By publishing this document, the CoR took the political initiative to lay out its vision of an inclusive European decision making process and political debate, based on a mode of governance which involves local and regional authorities in the formulation and implementation of EU policies.

The CoR renewed its commitment to MLG in a follow-up opinion in 2011, which built on the core priorities of the White Paper. In this report, the CoR outlined its position and viewpoint on MLG:

  • A renewed Community method is needed, which involves a more inclusive process and the establishment of multilevel governance
  • The political consensus and support of the EU institutions with regard to European governance is welcomed
  • An MLG scoreboard was created at EU level in order to measure annually the application of MLG principles and mechanisms
  • A Charter on MLG would be drafted, which would lead to greater participation by local and regional authorities in the exercise of European democracy.

MLG today: the partnership principle in structural and investment policy
Following the CoR's work to promote and push for recognition of the importance of multilevel governance, the principle was included for the first time as a guiding principle in the new EU rules for the management of Structural and Investment Funds 2014-20.

Charter on Multilevel Governance
In order to make the CoR's vision on MLG a political reality, a Charter for Multilevel Governance (MLG) in Europe was adopted by the Committee of the Regions on 3 April 2014 and was formally open for signatures on 9 May (Europe Day). Currently, there are more than 200 signatories to the Charter, including elected politicians as well as representatives from local and regional authorities and European and national associations. The Charter commits its signatories to make use of multilevel governance tools and procedures in the day-to-day management of public policies.

For further information, visit the Charter website.

Related Information


07.10.2014 - Luc Van den Brande(left) hands in to Commissioner Johannes Hahn the report on Multilevel Governance and Partnership with operational recommendations for EU policy design and implementation.