24 April, 2002
A federal Europe to guarantee the cultural diversity of the regions

About  100 European participants attended a European colloquium  on “European  regions  and the federal future of Europe” in Palma de Mallorca on 19 and 20 April. This event was organised by  the  Union of  European  Federalists  (U.E.F.),  in  co-operation  with  the  Government  of  the Balearic Islands and the Council of the Island of Mallorca.

With  a  view  to  the  future enlargement  and  the  great  economic differences  between  European regions, Francesco MUSOTTO MEP (PPE, I), Camilo NOGUEIRA MEP (Verts/ALE, E), and Gabriela  HERNANDEZ (DG  REGIO,  European  Commission),  stressed  the  need  to  find compensatory measures and to enhance solidarity.

 

According to José María MUÑOA, Basque Country’s President’s Delegate for Foreign Affairs, solidarity  does  not  depend on the  way  regional  powers  are  organised,  but  on the  political  will behind them. He further spelled out a warning over neglect of the regions’ demands to be present in  the  EU  and  to  see  their  diversity  respected  :  “Uniformity  does  not  mean union.  On  the contrary, it can lead to separation”.

The Vice-President of the Government of the Balearic Islands Pere SAMPOL I MAS regretted that  EU  regional  policy  is  managed by  the  member  states  and not  by  the  regional  authorities concerned. He called  for  better recognition and  protection of minority languages.

 

“We  demand the  presence  of  constitutional  regions in the Council  of the EU  and COREPER. Unfortunately there is a lack of imagination and of political will to go in this direction”.MEP  and  Deputy  Member  of  the  Convention  Carlos  CARNERO (PSE,  E)  said  a  draft Constitution should increase the role of the regions in European institutions. “The draft European Constitution should be ratified by a single European referendum”, he stated.


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