15/4/2014, Brussels – "Mobility in geographically and demographically challenged regions" - Stakeholder consultation by CoR Rapporteur Mr Gordon KEYMER (UK/ECR – COTER)

Lieu de la manifestation: Committee of the Regions, Brussels

For more information about this stakeholder consultation, please contact the CoR team:
For the COTER Commission secretariat: Mr Gianluca Comuniello, Tel: +32 2 282 2191
For stakeholder relations: Mr Peter Verlinden, Tel: +32 2 282 2170

The Committee of the Regions (CoR) is drafting an own-initiative opinion on "Mobility in geographically and demographically challenged regions".

Mobility is a prerequisite for territorial cohesion and regional economic growth and citizens are dependent on a functioning public transport system.

A growing number of regions throughout Europe, in particular geographically challenged ones, such as peripheral rural regions with low population density, island, cross-border, or mountain regions– in the light of demographic change on the one hand and tight public finances on the other – face increasing challenges when providing public transport locally.

Failure to meet these challenges could hamper economic, social and territorial cohesion.
Mobility is vital for the internal market and for the quality of life of individuals as they enjoy their freedom to travel. The future and prosperity of our continent will depend on the ability of all its regions to remain fully and competitively integrated in the global economy. These positions were expressed by the European Commission in its White Paper "Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area- Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system".

EU regions are diverse, many have special needs. The European Commission published in 2009 a working paper on "Territories with specific geographical features" in which a five categories classification was proposed:
Border regions;
Mountainous regions;
Island regions;
Sparsely populated regions;
Outermost regions.

The geographical structure of a regions influences commuting and therefore influences mobility policies. Geographically and demographically challenged regions suffer from accessibility problems due to their specific geographic situation. Regions on islands, in mountains at national borders, overseas, or with low population density (e.g. northernmost regions) are usually not economic power centres. Nevertheless, geographically challenged regions fulfil essential tasks for the harmonious development of the EU.

The CoR is calling with this own-initiative opinion for the local and regional authorities to be politically pro-active in this field and to propose an EU initiative on the matter.

The rapporteur on the opinion, Mr Gordon KEYMER (UK/ECR), Member of Tandridge District Council, together with his expert, Mr Dominic ROWLES, would be happy to meet with representatives of local and regional associations and other stakeholders for a consultation and an exchange of views on the relevant topic of this opinion.

The consultation will take place on Tuesday 15 April 2014 between 11.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. in the Committee of the Regions building (Rue Belliard 99-101, B-1040 Brussels)
Room JDE 70.

The rapporteur would be very keen to hear your views during the meeting. After a short introduction by the rapporteur, stakeholders will be invited to exchange views with the rapporteur.

In addition, if you have any position papers relevant to the subject, you are welcome to send them to the CoR by e-mail using the addresses above.

The meeting will be held in English. Please note that the rapporteur's mother tongue is English.

You can already register to participate in this debate to shape the rapporteur's views. For practical reasons, you are kindly asked to register your participation before 1.00 p.m. on Monday, 14 April 2014 via the CoR Website. There, you will also find some preliminary questions to guide the debate on 15 April.