”The priorities of the Austrian Presidency are very important for the regions, cities and municipalities, and from our point of view, the slogan” less but more efficient “always resonates with subsidiarity”, stressed Salzburger representative in the CoR Franz Schausberger and continued ,”all of the priorities that Austria tackles within the program for the EU Presidency are important topics for us, and at the same time they are closely interwoven: the issue of decentralization plays an important role, above all in the Western Balkans which are currently doing a lot in the area of migration, so migration is just as important to the countries of the Western Balkans as it is to Austria.” As a further important priority of the Austrian Presidency from the point of view of the regions, cities and municipalities, he emphasized the digitization, which is “utterly necessary” especially for municipalities.
From left to right: Michael Schneider, Barbara Eibinger-Mied, Reinhold Lopatka, Franz Schausberger und Michaela Petz-Michez
The CoR plenary session also focused on the results of the work of the Subsidiarity Task Force. For the Committee of the Regions Michael Schneider is represented in the Task Force and for the national parliaments Reinhold Lopatka. On 6th of July 2018, the Subsidiarity Task Force delivered its final report to EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. The eagerly awaited report deals with a number of specific proposals, such as:
- a single audit form for the subsidiarity check
- an improvement in the participation of the regions and municipalities
- the involvement of regions and municipalities in the discussion of the European Semester
- concrete improvements in EU policies
- a reduction in the number of so-called “delegated acts” that can be adopted directly by the EU Commission
In an interview with Reinhold Lopatka, Franz Schausberger expressed the hope that “what was painstakingly worked out by the Task Force on Subsidiarity will not be diluted too much.” For us, the topic of shifting back many detail regulations from European areas of competence is particularly important to the Member States and their regions, in order to reduce excessive regulation”.
From left to right: Franz Schausberger (Representative of the Lande Salzburg), State Councilor Doris Kampus (Styria), Federal Minister Juliane Bogner-Strauß, State Councilor Barbara Eibinger-Miedl (Styria), Governor Peter Kaiser (Carinthia) und Municipal Councilor Peter Florianschütz (City of Vienna)
The program of the Austrian EU Presidency was the subject of discussion at the meeting of the European Committee of the Regions in Brussels on 4th of July 2018. The program was presented by Austria’s Minister for Women, Families and Youth, Juliane Bogner-Strauß, to 350 representatives from over 200 European regions. The representative of the Land Salzburg in the Committee of the Regions and IRE Chairman Franz Schausberger thanked the Austrian Minister for the clear and concise presentation, pointing out that there would have been easier times for an EU Presidency than at present. He supported Minister Bogner-Strauss’ statement that the motto of the Austrian Presidency “For a Europe that protects” is not only about migration issues, but is meant in a comprehensive sense, including economic and social security.