The Commission's communication on the New European Bauhaus should be seen as a process that incorporates all relevant actions for beautiful, sustainable, and inclusive places, products and ways of living. In this regard:
The CoR highlights the importance of providing a roadmap and clear targets but emphasises that this will only be effectively implemented through partnering with the regional and local social services that have the statutory duty of furthering related policies. Everywhere in the European Union the regional and local authorities assume a high level of responsibilities in implementing urban, regional and cultural policies.
Depending on the respective governance structure in each member state, local and regional authorities play a key role in developing and fostering architecture, urban design, placemaking initiatives and other bottom-up approaches and culture. LRAs are at the level closest to the public and have considerable knowledge of the local economy and the labour market. They have first-hand experience in responding to citizen needs and knowledge of what works and what does not, and are aware of what is needed now in the recovery phase.
The New Bauhaus Initiative strongly contributes to local and regional development by making European regions more attractive, developing sustainability and creating new employment opportunities. Local and regional authorities have important competences in promoting inter-cultural dialogue. They bear a major responsibility for shaping and supporting our rich variety of cultures. They have a key role in disseminating and applying best practice and exchange of experiences in inter-cultural dialogue in particular through their coordination of multi-dimensional local and regional networks in the cultural sector, involving all relevant actors.
The LRAs can identify initiatives promoting the NEB strategies across the EU on the ground. The analysis of these initiatives can help in outlining main categories of instruments whose use generated, often in combination, territorial development. The final recommendations could provide inspiration to other local and regional authorities on possible ways to approach the design and/or implementation of their cultural development strategies.
The CoR is glad that the role of LRAs is acknowledged and highlighted in further implementing the principles of the NEB. LRAs have an important role to play in achieving its targets. The Commission acknowledges that engagement of national, regional, and local authorities together with social partners and civil society will be essential to ensure an effective implementation of the NEB. However, there is a lack of specific proposals as to how this engagement could take place.
The CoR welcomes that the European Commission encourages Member States to organise a coordination mechanism or to entrust an entity as a contact point for the NEB initiative to connect and coordinate efforts to their respective country and to ensure engagement of all relevant stakeholders in the implementation of the NEB, including the local and regional authorities. It is crucial that at all levels of governance are fully involved in all steps of the policy-making process as well as implementation, evaluation and monitoring of efforts made to implement the New European Bauhaus.
Concerning the implementation, clear targets and their monitoring should provide a framework for it. The Comminication however contains no details on how the key performance indicators will be produced or who will be involved. The evolution of the indicators at the national level may mask important differences at regional level. Against this background, this framework should feature evidence on the regional situation. In particular, a series of maps showing regional breakdowns by Member State could be presented for some headline indicators. The data and findings will make it possible to better understand how different regions in a country face as regards some key dimensions of the NEB and help monitor convergence within countries, assess the impact of regional policies and shape regional policymaking. The way they will need to do it is through supervision, training, building a culture, collaboration, exchange of experiences and good practice, further problem identification and assessment with feedback.
The implementation of the NEB initiative will contribute to the recognition and strengthening of the role of local and regional authorities. Local and regional authorities should make assessment of the implementation and identify best practices. They should also identify any difficulties and bottlenecks so that along the way they can make recommendations and unlock the initiative's full potential and raise awareness. The recording of the LRAs experience in relation to the implementation can be used as a guide and help transfer the best practices and know-how to other entities.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS:
is pleased that the role of LRAs in implementing the principles of the NEB is acknowledged, as they are well placed to contribute to policy development and the implementation of the NEB, in line with the subsidiarity principle;
considers that throughout the EU, cities and regions are at the forefront of culture-led development, and that the local and regional levels have key responsibilities for sustainable urban, regional and cultural policies; therefore, local and regional elected representatives are pivotal when it comes to making the NEB more accessible and engaging members of the public in the transformation process in order to advance the implementation of the NEB;
strongly supports the NEB as a key opportunity to harness the creative potential of regions and municipalities, and thereby create accepted and sustainable solutions that will make the Green Deal a success;
reaffirms the first key principle of the NEB endorsing a multi-level and place-based approach. In this regard, the COR points out that change is happening at local and regional level, where a sense of place is also anchored;
notes that LRAs are responsible for large stocks of local public buildings and urban public spaces and play an important regulatory and funding role in the renovation of these buildings and urban areas. Accordingly, LRAs should focus on identifying regulatory bottlenecks and contribute to simplifying regulation and devising new regulatory approaches;
acknowledges the creation of the European Seal of Excellence as a first step towards the NEB label concept, but is concerned that people may expect the NEB Label to have a funding stream. The use of a dedicated label could be considered as a tangible CoR contribution to the development of the NEB initiative, as advocated by the CoR in 2021;
Proposes therefore a NEB Lab voucher scheme whereby interested cities and regions could receive such a voucher which would entitle them to get the necessary support for organising an NEB Lab in their constituency;
believes that the NEB must become a real movement which involves LRAs and is not just another top-down project.