Cities and regions set out vision to reform the European Union




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Uploaded on Jun 26, 2019

Three principles to bring the EU closer to citizens:

• Changing the way EU decisions are made - “Active subsidiarity” as set out by the Task Force on Subsidiarity and Proportionality, a new way of working for the EU is needed. Regional and local authorities need to be involved in all phases of the EU legislative cycle;

• Involvement of all levels of governments: Multi-level governance coordinated action from European, national, regional and local levels is essential for the EU to deliver its objectives. More decentralisation and a better division of powers must be developed to promote good governance.

• Permanent dialogue with citizens: the CoR has been calling for establishing a permanent system of citizens’ dialogues/consultations that extends beyond the periods leading up to the European elections. This new mechanism would complement the EU’s decision-making structure, allowing citizens’ to influence the EU’s agenda-setting and policymaking.

Anchoring EU policies locally:

• Making the Sustainable Development Goals the overarching development strategy for the EU for all levels of government;

• Building cohesion within the EU, which includes a strong EU's cohesion policy beyond 2020 benefitting from adequate funding, a reinforced EU social dimension, better urban/rural linkages to address the territorial divide, and relevant measures to tackle demographic changes;

• Fighting for a sustainable environment: the CoR supports an ambitious roadmap towards a climate-neutral Europe, ensuring adequate engagement of all levels of government through national Multilevel Climate and Energy Dialogues. The Committee also calls for a Common Agricultural Policy that is fair, sustainable, based on solidarity and safeguards the central role of EU regions;

• Boosting research, innovation and digital transformation, including a dedicated policy for research and development with a strong link to the regions, and a place-based EU industrial and trade policy;

• Putting EU values into practice at local and regional level: given the responsibilities of cities and regions in the reception and integration of migrants, the CoR asks for adequate EU funding and support to its "Cities and Regions for Integration Initiative" launched earlier this year. The CoR also wants to enhance the capacity of public authorities at local and regional level outside the EU's borders.

An EU budget that meets the EU’s ambitions

In a bid to ensure cities and regions' necessary room for manoeuvre to strengthen the EU's growth potential, the CoR demands that the next EU's long-term budget is at least 1.3% of the EU27 Gross National Income and is adopted as soon as possible to allow early planning and preparation of the funding programmes. The CoR further warns that any attempt to recentralise the EU budget, particularly in a way that would undermine shared management of EU programmes, must be avoided.

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