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Local leaders to discuss how to deliver an EU rural revival and €500bn regional investment  

Also on #CoRplenary agenda: delivering zero-emissions transport, Mayor of Cologne presented local democracy award and a debate on the Conference on the Future of Europe.

The EU's support for a rural revival, delivering cohesion policy, the European Green Deal and the Conference on the Future of Europe will be central themes at the upcoming plenary of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR). The two-day plenary, which will be held remotely and streamed live, will be addressed by five European Commissioners and will see Henriette Reker, Mayor of Cologne, presented with the first Mayor Pawel Adamowicz Award.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and worsened regional deprivation, especially among rural communities in Europe. Regional and local leaders will discuss with the European Commission Vice-President for Democracy and Demography, Dubravka Šuica, and its Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, how to set up Rural Pacts that enable the coordination of investments to revitalise Europe's countryside.

Members of the Committee will then discuss how best to deliver half a trillion euros of investment backed by the EU's cohesion policy – regional funds – by 2027, with Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira and European Investment Bank Vice-President Liliana Pavlova.

The EU's objective to become the first climate-neutral continent and establish a green and sustainable economy will be discussed in a debate on transport with EU Commissioner Vălean. The debate will reflect on how to deliver sustainable smart mobility in Europe's regions, cities and villages, and the challenges and opportunities they face in accelerating the green transition.

The plenary will also see the presentation of the first Mayor Paweł Adamowicz Award, to Henriette Reker, Mayor of Cologne. The Award was created to honour and continue the legacy of Paweł Adamowicz, a former member of the CoR who before his murder had served as mayor of Gdańsk for 20 years.

Follow the plenary on the CoR website


26 January, 2.30 p.m.: Debate on a long-term vision for rural areas. Dubravka Šuica, the European Commission's Vice-President for Democracy and Demography, and Janusz Wojciechowski, the European Commissioner for Agriculture, will discuss the steps being taken to help the EU's rural areas become stronger, better connected, more resilient and more prosperous by 2040. The CoR, which has long called for a strategic approach to the revival of rural areas, will then adopt an opinion on the implementation of the EU's plan for rural areas – the Rural Pact – drafted by the President of Andalusia, Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla (ES/EPP).

27 January, 9 a.m.: High-level debate on cohesion implementation. Elisa Ferreira, the European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, and Lilyana Pavlova, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, will address questions and concerns about implementation of the EU's pandemic recovery plan.

27 January, 10.30 a.m.:  Debate on the EU Green Deal: Sustainable smart mobility in our regions, cities and villages. Adina Vălean, the European Commissioner for Transport, will discuss how the EU can achieve its objective of reducing transport emissions by 90% by 2050. Immediately after the debate, members of the CoR will consider and vote on an opinion that focuses on the deployment of alternative-fuels infrastructure and CO2 emission performance standards as part of the EU's drive to decarbonise road transport. The opinion has been drafted by Adrian Ovidiu Teban (RO/EPP), mayor of Cugir.

27 January, 12.00 a.m.: Mayor Pawel Adamowicz Award Ceremony. Statements will be made by the winner Henriette Reker, Mayor of Cologne; Věra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Values and Transparency; Magdalena Adamowicz, Member of European Parliament; and Alexandra Dulkiewicz (PL/EPP), Mayor of Gdańsk and representative of the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN).

27 January, 2.30 p.m.: Debate on the Conference on the Future of Europe. The European Committee of the Regions will continue its series of debates on the functioning of EU democracy and future policy priorities by discussing the Conference on the Future of Europe with members of its plenary working group. Immediately afterwards, CoR members will adopt a resolution on the Conference on the Future of Europe. Scheduled speakers in the debate include: Manfred Weber, chair of the COFE plenary Working Group on European Democracy (tbc); MEP Sandro Gozi (IT/RE); Arnoldas Pranckevičius, deputy foreign minister of Lithuania; and Eva Kjer Hansen, member of the Danish parliament.


A long-term vision for the EU's rural areas: Rapporteur: Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla (ES/EPP), President of Andalusia

EU strategic framework on health and safety at work 2021-2027: Rapporteur: Sergio Caci (IT/EPP), mayor of Montalto di Castro.

Local and regional authorities accelerating the implementation of the EU Pollinators Initiative: Rapporteur: Frida Nilsson (SE/RE), member of Lidköping Municipal Council.

Towards zero-emission road transport: Deploying alternative fuels infrastructure and strengthening CO2 emission performance standards. Rapporteur: Adrian Ovidiu Teban (RO/EPP), mayor of Cugir City, Alba County.

Gender equality and climate change: towards mainstreaming the gender perspective in the European Green Deal. Rapporteur: Kata Tüttő (HU/PES), Deputy mayor of Budapest.

EU Action Plan: Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil. Rapporteur: Marieke Schouten (NL/Greens), alderwoman of the municipality of Nieuwegein.


Location: Virtual

Date: Wednesday, 26 January – Thursday, 27 January 2022.

Background material: The plenary agenda, and opinions and amendments.

Webstreaming: On the website of the CoR.



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