The aim of this opinion is to define how to take a multi-level governance approach and successfully implement the European Missions, a new, ambitious instrument to tackle our main global challenges.
The EU Missions set out bold, concrete and measurable targets to deliver tangible outcomes for all Europeans in a well-defined timeframe, pooling in the necessary resources (funding programmes, policies and regulations) and mobilising public and private actors (Member States, cities and regions, research institutes, entrepreneurs and investors) to create a real and lasting impact.
Following the adoption of the CoR opinion on "European Missions" at the Plenary Session of April 2022, Rapporteur Markkula participated in a number of high-level, interinstitutional meetings and events organised on the subject. Thanks to this involvement, the Committee has actively contributed to the shaping of the implementation phase of the initiative.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- emphasises that, in the light of the Conference on the Future of Europe, the European Missions, as a new and vital instrument in tackling burning societal challenges, are a real test of the EU's impact and credibility;
- encourages the EU Missions to stress the progress toward humanity and human-centricity on which sustainability in all its dimensions – ecological, economic, social, and cultural – is the driver of change in reaching the ambitious targets of the EU Missions;
- stresses that the EU Missions need to co-create new ways to operate;
- is ready to cooperate with the EU Missions to make the benchmarking and bench-learning processes between demonstration cities/regions and others attractive. The financing instruments need to be flexible and innovative, and encourage the real interests of cities/regions;
- underlines the need for an effective system of multilevel governance that combines the EU Missions with local and regional development strategies, smart specialisation strategies, the COVID recovery measures and innovation funding through the structural funds;
- reaffirms that the challenges are complex, and only part of the necessary scientific and technological knowledge exists. Reaching the targets is possible with extensive foresight activities, increasing R&D investments, real-world prototyping, experimenting, and scaling-up of the results;
- reminds all that the core of the EU Missions is research and innovation. The complex societal challenges can only be tackled through increasing RDI investments;
- highlights that the key questions are how the cities and regions learn to orchestrate necessary activities and how the activities attract private industrial and other investments;
- endorses industrial RDI carbon handprint measures in creating new extended products, systems, and other innovative solutions playing an essential part in reaching the climate targets;
- underlines that the EU Missions will be successful only if closing the knowledge and innovation divide in Europe and the innovation gap between Europe and the US are highlighted.