The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) is an advisory body that represents around 1 million local and regional politicians in the 27 countries of the European Union. When drawing up legislation on matters that might concern local or regional government, European decision-making bodies – including the European Commission and the Council of the EU – must consult with the CoR. After receiving those proposals for legislation from decision-making bodies, the CoR issues opinions on the legislative projects, detailing these to CoR members at up to six plenary meetings a year. Between 12 and 14 October, the CoR’s 329 members will meet in Brussels and virtually to discuss 26 different opinions.

On 13 October, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will virtually attend the CoR plenary session. She will present the goals of the German Presidency of the Council of the EU. After the German Chancellor’s address, there will be an hour-long discussion on topics such as how local and regional authorities can play a part in the EU's pandemic recovery plans as well as the role of cities and regions in advancing sustainable, greener communities. Participants will also discuss the role of local and regional politicians within the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

The President of the CoR, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, will deliver a speech detailing challenges expected in the year ahead, known as the Annual Regional and Local Barometer, on 12 October. He will also welcome other speakers to sessions, including the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen on 12 October and the EU Commissioner in charge of Economy Paolo Gentiloni on 14 October.