Source: Committe of Regions
Elected leaders from the European Parliament and European Committee of the Regions are natural political allies to shape a more democratic Europe
Local and regional authorities ask the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli to fully take part in the implementation and governance of national recovery plans
Just a few days ahead of the launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe, the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli addressed today the plenary session of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and shared with local and regional leaders the need to deliver the Conference on the ground, beyond the EU’s institutions and beyond the capitals.
Make European values part of every region, city and rural village; strengthen European democracy; and fully involve local and regional authorities in the implementation of national post-pandemic recovery plans. These were the topics at the heart of the plenary debate between members of the CoR and the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli. The discussion showed the shared will to scale up the cooperation between the two EU institutions, especially ahead of the official launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe, on 9 May.
” As stressed by President Sassoli, the European Parliament and the CoR are comprised of elected officials, and therefore are natural political allies, both in Brussels and on the ground. We are determined to translate these words into concrete actions. We, regional presidents and local mayors, make Europe live on the ground. We make democracy deliver results. The citizens’ voice, expressed via the CoR members and the one million local elected politicians they represent, must be heard in the Conference on the future of Europe, beyond the EU’s institutions and capitals, ” said Apostolos Tzitzikostas , President of the CoR.
The President of the European Parliament David Sassoli stated: ” It is especially in times of crisis that the European Union must demonstrate its importance by protecting people, supporting businesses, investing in equality, social progress and economic well-being. Meeting the needs of European citizens such as assistance, work, dignity, security and prosperity for their future is at the heart of the recovery. Regions, cities and villages will play an important role on the path to recovery, economic growth and job creation. They must, and they can, show their added value in paving the way for a fair, digital, green recovery and not least in rebuilding people’s trust .”
The CoR First Vice-President Vasco Cordeiro said: ” There is no one in the Committee of the Regions that refuses to be instrumental to make the Conference on the Future of Europe a success, but it is unfair to local and regional authorities across Europe to not recognise their role and their importance not only as instrument but also as active members who can have a role and say what they think the future of Europe should be. There is a wide margin of progress and improvement in the way local and regional authorities can be part of this process of rethinking Europe and how it works. Trust is at stake in this process. Regions and cities will not forget it and I hope all other EU institutions too.”
On Tuesday 4 May, the European Parliament’s Vice-President for Information policy, Press and Citizens Relations, Othmar Karas , and Vice-President for Relations with the CoR, Klára Dobrev , joined the members of the Bureau of the Committee to discuss how to better communicate the EU’s actions and achievements to people in regions, cities and villages across Europe. They also discussed how to contribute to the Conference on the Future of Europe and scale up the cooperation between the only two EU institutions consisting of elected officials.
On 9 May, the CoR will hold a local debate in Strasbourg to mark the territorial dimension of the Conference. The event, co-organised with the main French regional and local associations, will allow regional and local leaders to discuss with citizens how to bring the Conference to regions, cities and villages across Europe. The local event will be attended, among others, by Dubravka Šuica, European Commissioner for Democracy and Demography, Guy Verhofstadt, Co-Chair of the Executive Committee of the Conference on the Future of Europe, and Ana Paula Zacarias, Portuguese Secretary of State for European Affairs.