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Europe

Committee of the Regions

The Committee of the Regions (COR) is the youngest institution of the European Union. The Maastricht Treaty called for its establishment and it now includes 222 representatives of regional and local government bodies. The members, mostly mayors or members of state legislative bodies, are nominated for four year terms by their home country and appointed by a unanimous vote by the European Council. Though COR has no formal voting powers, it is called upon by the European Commission and the European Council to issue positions on questions that relate to the regions -- like education, cultural policy or healthcare. COR can also issue opinions on its own initiative. The committee examines how European policies and laws affect the everyday lives of European citizens. Since its first session in 1994, COR has served as an energetic proponent of the EU's so-called principle of subsidiarity, an idea calling for decisions to be made at the lowest possible level so that they can be made as close to the level of the citizens as possible. COR has been especially active developing policies for a trans-European airport network, developing local tourism and paving the way for EU citizens to be given voting rights at the local level no matter where they live.

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