The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) is the broadest European association of local and regional governments, established in Geneva in 1951. It is the only organization that brings together the national associations of local and regional governments from 40 European countries and represents, through them, all levels of territories – local, intermediate and regional. CEMR promotes the construction of a united, peaceful and democratic Europe founded on local self-government, respect for the principle of subsidiarity and the participation of citizens. Our work is organized around two main pillars: influencing European policy and legislation in all areas having an impact on municipalities and regions and providing a forum for debate between local and regional governments via their national representative associations.
CEMR’s work focuses on five thematic areas, which affect all aspects of the lives of European citizens as well as the local and regional governments that represent them:
- Governance, democracy and citizenship
- Environment, climate and energy
- International engagement and cooperation
- Economic, social and territorial cohesion
- Local and regional public services management
- CEMR statutory affairs, general CEMR affairs
Currently CEMR unites 60 associations from 40 countries, which represent 100 000 local governments. The National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria is member of CEMR since 1997. CEMR also represents the European Section of the World Organization United cities and local governments (UCLG)
The governing bodies of CEMR are the Policy Committee and the Executive Bureau. They meet twice a year.
Each national delegation is assigned a given number of seats based on the country’s population (from two to six seats).
The Policy Committee is composed of around 170 members elected for a three year mandate. The composition of the Bulgarian delegation can be found here.
The Executive Bureau follows up on Policy Committee decisions and, between Committee meetings, is responsible for CEMR’s work and policy.
In addition CEMR organizes on a regular basis meeting of the Secretaries General and Directors of the associations.
The political leadership of CEMR is as follows: the President, Co-Presidents, Executive Presidents and Vice-Presidents who are elected by the Policy Committee for three years. The current President is Gunn Marit HELGESEN, she is the President of the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities and Councillor of Vestfold and Telemark.
The administration of CEMR (Secretariat) is based in Brussels. The Secretary General is responsible for the effective management of the Secretariat, which is made up of around 30 staff members. He advises the governing bodies and implements their decisions. The Secretary General is elected by the Policy Committee for a six-year term. In 2022 Mr. Fabrizio Rossi was appointed to this position.