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Eastern Partnership local authorities have a "good chance" to improve energy efficiency and democracy before Summit in November

May 23, 2017

Regional and local authorities from the European Union and the EU's Eastern neighbours met on 22 May in Minsk. Participants of the Conference of Regional and Local Authorities for the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP) debated on energy efficiency and job creation, as part of the broader preparation by local and regional administrations from Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine for the Eastern Partnership summit in November.

The meeting aimed to ensure that, at the summit, national leaders will recognise the concerns and adopt the recommendations of local and regional authorities in a wide range of areas, including energy efficiency. In Minsk, CORLEAP's bureau discussed a report on obstacles to energy efficiency in the Eastern Partner countries. Obstacles include limited authority, insufficient government support, inadequate funding and a lack of private-sector involvement in municipal energy-efficiency programmes.

"Our engagement in CORLEAP should ultimately benefit people, creating conditions for prosperous societies in the region," said President of the European Committee of the Regions, Markku Markkula,. "European municipalities and regions stand ready to help their partners from the Eastern Partnership countries to develop policies that would bring them closer to citizens and make local democracy work in an efficient way, to the benefit of society as a whole."

President Markkula said he believed that recommendations already adopted by CORLEAP – on "Developing civic participation as a way to strengthen local democracy in EaP countries" – stood a "good chance" of being reflected in the conclusions of the Eastern Partnership summit.

CORLEAP aims to coordinate the representation of local and regional authorities within the Eastern Partnership, complement and support the effort by the EU institutions and other participating stakeholders in delivering European Neighbourhood Policy, spread the concepts that will bring partner countries closer to the EU, and foster internal reform and capacity building at local and regional level.

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