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.