Jeremy Smith has been, since May 2002, Secretary-General of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions(CEMR), which brings together the national associations of local and regional government in over 30 countries and promotes their interests and values in the European arena. Having practised as a lawyer from 1971, he has worked for local and regional government since 1983, when he joined the Greater London Council as senior legal adviser. From 1989 to 1995 he was Chief Executive of the London Borough of Camden, and from 1996 to 2002 Director of the UK’s Local Government International Bureau. He was also until May 2004 Secretary-General to the International Union of Local Authorities (IULA), also playing a key role in the establishment of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the new unified world organisation.
In recent months, he has campaigned on behalf of CEMR for local and regional government to have more discretion over how their public services are delivered, and for a less intrusive role of the EU in this area.