Also on #CoRplenary agenda: cohesion policy, inclusion and diversity, unemployment, sustainable food systems.
An international conference – co-organised with the Ukrainian, Swiss and UK governments, the OECD and the European Commission – on the role of regions and cities in Ukraine's recovery and reconstruction will follow May's plenary session of the European Committee of the Regions.
The conference – entitled "Putting the Lugano Principles into Action: Strengthening the Role of Local and Regional Governments in Ukraine's Recovery and Reconstruction Process, and on the Road to EU Membership" – will result in recommendations that will feed into considerations by the dozens of states and EU institutions expected to attend the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London on 21-22 June. It builds on principles agreed at last year's Ukraine Recovery Conference in Lugano, Switzerland, and on the International Summit of Regions and Cities held this April in Kyiv, Ukraine. The CoR is a founding member of the European Alliance of Cities and Regions for the Reconstruction of Ukraine and serves as its secretariat.
Ukraine and other crises that require a response from the European Union will be central to the plenary itself, with Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management, leading a debate on how local, regional, national and EU levels of government can work together to strengthen the EU's resilience, for example in case of natural disasters. The debate is coupled with the adoption of recommendations by the CoR.
The financial strains of responding to Russia's war on Ukraine and of curbing the COVID pandemic are likely to shape a debate of the EU's budget with leading representatives of the European Parliament, MEP Jan Olbrycht (PL/EPP) and MEP Margarida Marques (PT/S&D).
Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality, will also intervene at a debate on equality, diversity and inclusion at local and regional level. The debate coincides with European Diversity Month, which this year will is focused on inclusion and diversity in the workplace.
Follow the plenary on the CoR website
Thursday, 25 May, 2.30 – 6.30 p.m.: "Putting the Lugano Principles into Action: Strengthening the Role of Local and Regional Governments in Ukraine's Recovery and Reconstruction Process, and on the Road to EU Membership".
The Swiss government previously hosted the international Ukraine Recovery Conference in 2022, whereas the UK government will be hosting the follow-up Ukraine Recovery Conference on 21-22 June. The panels will consider Ukraine's decentralisation process, peer-to-peer support for local governments in Ukraine, guidelines for investment, and public-private partnerships. Ukraine is likely to be represented by the head of the parliamentary committee handling reconstruction, Olena Shuliak, and by Oleksandra Azarkhina, Deputy Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development.
A press conference will be held at 3.15 p.m. in the European Committee of the Regions (Room 51 of the Jacques Delors Building) with the speakers on the first panel, including representatives of Ukraine, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the president of the CoR, Vasco Alves Cordeiro. The press conference will [not] be webstreamed.
All debates in the event – the opening and closing sessions and the parallel panels – will be webstreamed. To follow live, click here.
Wednesday, 24 May, 3.05 p.m.: Debate on promoting equality, diversity and inclusion at local and regional level, in the context of EU diversity month, with Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality. The CoR has asked for local and regional governments to be recognised as strategic partners in the design, implementation and monitoring of EU strategies in these areas, emphasising also the potential value of local and regional action plans in these areas.
Wednesday, 24 May, 4.15 p.m.: "Preparing for and dealing with crises: Strengthening the resilience of the Union, its regions and cities", with Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management. In past opinions, the CoR has argued that a sharper focus on regional and local resilience is needed in order to cope with natural disasters and global risks such as environmental degradation and pandemics.
Wednesday, 24 May, 6.05 p.m.: "Mid-term review of the Multiannual Financial Framework from a regional and local viewpoint", with MEP Jan Olbrycht (PL/EPP) and MEP Margarida Marques (PT/S&D). This debate is coupled with the adoption of an opinion on the review of the EU's 2021-27 budget. Critical issues include the reinforcement of existing funds, funding for new tasks, improved collaboration between managers of EU regional-development funds, and acceleration of the green and digital transitions.
Thursday, 25 May, 11.00 a.m.: Debate with Oliver Röpke, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, on "A more resilient, more inclusive and more democratic Europe: priorities for the 2023-2025 mandate and synergies with the CoR".
OPINIONS FOR ADOPTION
- Preparing for and dealing with crises: strengthening the resilience of the Union, its regions and cities. Rapporteur: Christophe Clergeau (FR/PES), member of the Pays-de-la-Loire Regional Council.
- Mid-term review of the Multiannual Financial Framework: the regional and local viewpoint. Rapporteur: Thomas Habermann (DE/EPP), district commissioner of Rhön-Grabfeld.
- Do no harm to cohesion - A cross-cutting principle contributing towards cohesion as an overall objective and value of the EU. Rapporteur: Michiel Rijsberman (NL/Renew Europe), member of the Council of the Province of Flevoland.
- Legislative framework for sustainable food systems. Rapporteur: Joke Schauvliege (BE/EPP), member of the Flemish Parliament.
- Zero long-term unemployment: the local and regional perspective. Rapporteur: Yonnec Polet (BE/PES), first deputy mayor of Berchem-Sainte-Agathe.
- Report on public sector interoperability across the Union. Rapporteur: Michele Pais (IT/ECR), president and member of the Regional Council of Sardinia.
Charlemagne Building, Rue de la Loi 170, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.
Date: Wednesday, 24 May – Thursday, 25 May 2023.
Background material: The plenary agenda and opinions and amendments [add URLs].
Webstreaming: On the website of the CoR.