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PRESS / Press Releases / 2004

11/02/2004 - Peter Straub, president of the Baden-Württemberg Parliament, elected President of the Committee of the Regions

Peter Straub (DE-EPP) was elected President of the Committee of the Regions of the European Union on 11 February 2004 for a period of two years. Peter Straub succeeds Albert Bore (UK-PES), who was elected in February 2002.

Peter Straub who started his career as a lawyer in 1966 has been a member of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) since 1968. He sat on the Waldshut-Tiegen Town Council from 1968 to 1989. In 1984, he was elected to the Waldshut District Council, where he held office until 1994. He has also been a member of the Baden-Württemberg Land Parliament since 1984. In 1992, he became Vice-President of the Parliament, and became its President in 1996.

Peter Straub has also held various offices at European level.

He has been a member of the Committee of the Regions since 1997. Among other things, he is a member of the Commission for Constitutional Affairs and European Governance and of the Commission for Economic and Social Policy. Peter Straub has been First Vice-President of the CoR since last November.

Peter Straub has also been a member of the Assembly of European Regions (AER) since 1996 and a member of the Standing Committee of the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE) since 1998.

In his speech, Peter Straub stated that he wanted to “help strengthen the CoR’s political role”. “The institution’s overall record over its ten years of existence is positive, but its position within the decision-making process needs to be improved. There are also challenges we must address. Firstly, enlargement, which will enable Europe to be united once again. The CoR will be welcoming 95 new members on 1 May 2004. We should facilitate their integration into the Committee of the Regions and into the Union’s wider decision-making process. We would also like to help strengthen democracy in the new Member States by promoting the development of devolved structures. A summit of regions and municipalities will take place in one of the new Member States next year. The European Constitution is also key to our priority of strengthening the role of regional and local authorities. If the identity of municipalities and regions is respected, the citizens will feel close to Europe. This is why we need a strong, well-respected CoR, which is the voice of regional and local authorities and which defends the principle of subsidiarity.”

At the plenary session of 11 and 12 February, Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, was also elected First Vice-President of the CoR until 2006.