Over 500 EU, national and local politicians to set out vision on how to strengthen democracy, proximity and solidarity in the European Union
More than 500 European, national, regional and local leaders from all Member States will gather in Bucharest on 14-15 March to debate the future of Europe and the role of regions and cities in a renewed European Union. Under the title "(Re)New EUrope, the Summit will also gather high-level EU representatives, including the President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, Romania's Prime Minister, Viorica Dăncilă, the President of the European Committee of the Regions, Karl-Heinz Lambertz, the President of the European Economic and Social Committee, Luca Jahier, and the EU's Chief Negotiator for Brexit Michel Barnier.
Summit background and themes
The Summit will take place at a critical time for the EU when important decisions will shape its future, including the UK's expected exit from the EU, the European elections in May, and negotiations on the EU long-term budget after 2020.
Co-organised by the European Committee of the Regions – the EU's assembly of elected local and regional politicians - the Romanian EU Council Presidency, and the main Romanian associations of local and regional authorities, EU's regions and cities will set out their vision for the future of Europe ahead of the EU leaders meeting in Sibiu on 9 May.
The programme will consist of keynote speeches and six thematic debates on: 1) Social cohesion and integration in regions and cities; 2) EU regions and cities building a sustainable future; 3) Territorial cohesion to bring the EU's citizens together; 4) Active subsidiarity; 5) Strengthening European democracy; and 6) Young local and regional leaders' expectations from the EU.
Brexit: Debate with Michel Barnier
Just ahead of the planned date for Brexit (29 March), the EU's Chief Negotiator for Brexit, Michel Barnier, is expected to join the Summit to discuss the impact of Brexit on the EU's regions and cities, how the EU will support those most exposed, as well as lessons learnt for Europe's future. Given the timing and the consequences of Brexit on cities and regions – in particular in the event of a "no-deal", the debate will make reference to two studies:
- A 2018 survey led by the CoR and EUROCHAMBRES detailing the consequences of Brexit on trade and the economy in the EU27 regions and cities (see press release);
- A study published just two weeks ago - led by the University of Birmingham – and presented at the CoR showing that a "no-deal Brexit" would cause massive damage to local economies in both the EU and UK (see the press release).
100 young elected politicians to join Summit
100 young local and regional politicians have been invited to Bucharest to contribute to the debate on the future of Europe. The young leaders will share their views on issues on the future of Europe; how the EU can establish a permanent exchange with young local and regional leaders; and what the regions, cities, parliaments and political parties can do to increase their engagement in European politics.
Better EU regulation: Launch of the Network of Regional Hubs
As cities and regions are responsible for delivering two-thirds of EU legislation, the Committee is setting up a Network of “Regional Hubs" (#RegHub) to allow them to further contribute to the monitoring, assessment and improvement of EU laws. The event will see the official launch of the initiative with the 20 participating regions for the pilot phase (2019-2020).
Towards Sibiu: Summit's Declaration will set regions and cities view on the future of Europe
The Summit will conclude with the adoption of a Declaration by local and regional leaders on "Building the EU from the ground up with our regions and cities". The Declaration will be formally handed over to the President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis. The appeal will serve as the position of regions and cities to the leaders of the EU institutions and Heads of State and Government who will gather in Sibiu, Romania, on 9 May to discuss the future of the EU.
Information to the press and media materials:
The European Summit of Cities and Regions was created with the aim of ensuring that local and regional governments fully contribute to the most important debates in the European Union. It was created by the European Committee of the Regions to supplement its day-to-day work as a consultative body to the EU's decision-making institutions. The Summit is held every two years. The Summits are normally held in the country that holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Recent summits have been held in Bratislava (2016), Athens (2014), Copenhagen (2012), Prague (2009) and Rome (2007). That tradition is being maintained this year.