Any locally elected representative (village, city, metropolitan area, region or any other level of local government) who is currently serving in this role may participate in the network. They participate on behalf of their local authority. While there is no limit to how many locally elected representatives may participate in the network, each local authority may appoint only one member to participate in the network.
To join the network, a contact person has to fill in a form on the project website and upload a signed declaration which includes the signature of the legal representative of the local authority, as well as the signature of the local councillor who is appointed as a member of the network.
The applying local authority has the role of partner of the project, receives visibility materials that they can use to show that the authority has become partner of the European Commission in communicating and engaging citizens on EU issues (local authorities will receive a metal plate, a roll-up to be displayed in locations accessible to their citizens). The local authority will ensure continuity and appoint a new member as soon as the electoral mandate of the previous member expires or ceases for any reason. The designated locally elected person will become an active member of the network, receives access to targeted information, to a dedicated digital platform and to a privileged relation with EU institutions.
Local authorities participating in a coordinating role have the role of “ambassadors” of the project vis-a-vis cities, municipalities, towns and villages in their area. Applying with a coordinating role allows local authorities which are NOT appointing a locally elected councillor as a member to have anyway access to the project. By having access to the online platform and communication related to the project, they can promote it with smaller entities who may not be able to dedicate time to participation in the project as well as to collect their feedback. Please note that partners applying in a coordinating role do not appoint an elected representative as a member; if they want to appoint an elected representative as a member, they should not apply with a coordinating role.
Ideally, the contact person of the partner local authority is designated among civil servants of the local authority, as to ensure continuity after local elections.
Theoretically yes, it is possible for the mayor to be appointed as a member on behalf of the local authority. However, it is preferable that the member is designated among local councillors as this network presupposes a proactive involvement in the project. That is why it might make more sense for local councillors to be appointed so that they can interact with peers in similar roles since the majority of members are indeed councillors rather than mayors.
The Legal Representative could be the mayor of the Municipality or any other person (elected or non-elected) who has the official authority to sign the declaration form legally representing the local entity.
Associations of regions and cities play an important role as multipliers to help the EU institutions in reaching out to their members. They are not eligible to join the network, although any member of their boards who is a locally elected representative can and is encouraged to join, if appointed by his/her local authority.
Any background and profiles are welcome. There is no specific requirement of political affiliation or role covered in the local council. The members need to be elected councillors in the current electoral mandate. They also need to be nominated by the local authority they represent.
Members need to be willing to communicate proactively with citizens in their local area about issues related to the EU.
The Commission welcomes the appointment of women and minorities (individuals part of underrepresented groups).
Only one councillor per local entity can be part of the network at any given time.
The call is open on a rolling basis, which means that there is no deadline. The call will stay open as long as the project continues.
Yes, members are expected to represent the EU objectively based on accurate and trustworthy information. They are also expected to engage in discussion and debate with members of their constituency or local media about the general political initiatives and measures carried out by the EU. Members commit to following this line of conduct when signing the declaration, at the moment of application.
Being part of “Building Europe with Local Councillors” helps the local authority, through its local councillor, better communicate about the EU with its constituents. Members of the network will benefit in many ways, as presented below.
- Privileged access to official EU communication sources in national languages, communication material, online and offline seminars and other forms of information, that allow engaging with citizens on EU issues.
- Opportunity to be invited to physical or digital visits to EU institutions organised, when possible, in their language.
- Opportunity to receive targeted information on topics of your interest and of relevance for your region, based on the preferences indicated in the application form
- Visibility at EU level of the member's activities undertaken in the context of the network.
- Access to a lively network of peers through a dedicated online platform with other network participants.
- Privileged access to a multitude of EU outreach networks at local level, including some 430 EUROPE DIRECT centres operating in almost all EU regions.
There is no limit in the number of applications per country.
Yes! To do so, when applying, you will have to select “apply as a coordinator.” In this case, the contact person will be invited as an observer to take part in the network.
There is no direct cost associated with being part of the network. The European Commission will not ask you for any contributions at any point in time. Any travel expenses for participation to project events that are not online will either be covered by the European Commission or be optional. The activities of the network members (communication with citizens on EU matters, taking part in the life of the network) do not necessarily imply a cost for the member.
No. The network is open only to locally elected representatives in EU countries.
Once your application is validated by the European Commission, you will receive communication materials about the network. You will also receive an invitation to register on the online platform Futurium. Once registered, you will have the opportunity to continue receiving updated information on a regular basis on topics of your interest and of relevance for your region, as well as network with other members. You will also be invited to attend ad hoc webinars and other events.
All local councillors who are members of the network are expected to perform the three actions they commit to by signing the project declaration at the moment of application. These actions include the following.
- Communicate regularly about the EU. This means to regularly engage in discussion and debate with members of your constituency or local media about the general political initiatives and measures carried out by the EU and encourage your constituents to get involved in debates on the future of the EU.
- Stick to the facts and represent the EU objectively. Present EU policies, actions and initiatives objectively, based on accurate and trustworthy information.
- Take part in the life of the “Building Europe with Local Councillors” network by participating in the online platform, attending seminars and visits offered by the Commission (depending on availability). It also requires you to respond to surveys conducted approximately twice a year, and provide feedback on activities undertaken in the context of the network.
The role of the local authorities is to ensure continuity. For instance, when members reach the end of their electoral mandate or cease to be part of the network for any reason, the local authorities are required to appoint a new member.
When a new member joins the network, the corresponding local authority will receive promotional materials (a custom metal engraved plate and a roll-up). These are intended to show the public (constituents) that the local authority is part of this EU-wide network.
The project website (open to the public) will publish a list and a map presenting all the local councillors who are members of the network. It will also include general information materials. The project’s online platform (restricted access only for members of “Building Europe with Local Councillors” and similar networks) will include relevant publications sorted by topic, invitation to events, discussion forums, best practices and general news related to the project.
No. Members will only receive non-financial forms of support (privileged access to EU information, materials, visits, invitations to events, peer networking, etc.).
You will remain a member of the network until the end of your mandate as elected councillor of the local entity (municipality or other) that nominated you. If you wish to cancel your membership, please contact your local authority, that will appoint a replacement.
As a general rule, once an electoral mandate expires the membership also ends. However, the local authority may communicate the same name to the European Commission for a successive mandate.
You are welcome to disseminate the communication materials related to the network and invite other local councillors to participate. However, please be reminded that only one councillor per local authority can be part of the network at any given time.
The member should inform their local authority. The agreement between the European Commission and the local authority remains valid, but the local authority will need to appoint a new member to the network. If the local authority wishes to withdraw entirely from the network, it needs to notify the European Commission.
The project is multilingual so there is no language requirement for the members of the network. Local councillors are not required to communicate in English. All material, including a detailed manual to access the online platform, will be provided in their respective language. The interactive online platform provides automatic translation in all official EU languages.
There is no quantitative target for the time an individual councillor devotes to the project activities. The network aims to provide information to locally elected representatives enabling them to learn more about EU initiatives and measures so that they can use this knowledge to engage with citizens in their constituency. There will be ways for them to report and for the Commission to acknowledge their proactivity.
The network “Building Europe with Local Councillors” was proposed by the European Parliament in 2021 and focuses on improving the capacity of local councillors to communicate at the local level on EU matters. The Committee of the Regions’ European Network of Regional and Local Councillors launched in 2021 aims to connect the work of the Committee of the Regions and its members to the wider audience of local councillors present in the EU. Given the fact that both networks target the same population of EU local councillors, they work very closely together in full synergy, to avoid overlaps and extend the range of services on offer. They use the same online platform. Members of one network are invited to join the other.
The European Commission, represented by the Directorate-General for Communications (DG COMM), manages the network, which was established as a pilot project based on a proposal by the European Parliament.
If you do not find the answer to your question in the FAQs and in the project materials, please contact us. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
If you are a member yourself, you can do that through the online discussion forum once you create your account on Futurium, or at online or physical events organised by the project team.
The European Commission can organise a tailored meeting if there is interest from a sufficient number of members. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The European Commission will strive to organise visits by language groups, depending on resources and calendar constraints. When this is the case, members will receive invitations in due time and their travel costs will be covered to the extent possible.
The project team can provide, upon request, project visual materials in all official EU languages in digital format (and occasionally in physical format, depending on availability). Editable versions can also be provided in case a local authority or a local councillor wishes to produce additional materials in other languages, which are not EU official languages.