Adapting to climate change, protecting water, greening cities, ensuring healthy food and fighting cancer are some of today's major challenges that EU missions, launched by the European Commission, seek to address. Markku Markkula (FI/EPP), rapporteur for the European Committee of the Regions' opinion on the subject and member of Espoo City Council, stresses that missions need to be underpinned by an effective multilevel governance system linking them to local and regional development strategies, COVID-19 recovery measures and innovation funding through the Structural Funds.
are based on
, but will go far beyond research and innovation in support of the EU's
ambitions to promote the green and digital transitions. The French
Presidency of the Council of the EU has asked the European Committee of the
Regions to draw up an opinion on how best to organise the management of
missions at local and regional level. The
prepared by Mr Markkula was adopted at the meeting of the European
Committee of the Regions'
on 15 February.
"EU missions should be implemented through an open and participatory
process, involving all relevant stakeholders at local, regional, European
and global levels. Citizens' engagement in particular will be crucial for
the missions' success. It is time for new technological solutions and
societal innovations. Reaching the targets is possible only with extensive
foresight activities, increased R&D investments, real-world
prototyping, experimentation and scaling-up of results," Mr Markkula said.
As all five missions have a clear common priority – making the future
sustainable and smart – the opinion underlines the importance of
cross-mission cooperation at all levels of governance. Each EU mission
should define a clear roadmap and create a systemic new multi-governance
approach and methodologies on experimenting, prototyping, monitoring, and
scaling-up activities at all governance levels.
The rapporteur also underlines the importance of developing regional
capacity to apply for EU mission funding. This will enhance the absorption
capacity of cities and regions and strengthen citizen inclusion across the
EU, multiplying the impact of EU initiatives and ensuring a broader and
fairer distribution of resources. In order to achieve these objectives,
attention must be paid to closing the knowledge and innovation gap within
Europe and the innovation gap between Europe and the United States.
At the meeting held on 15 February, SEDEC members also adopted Kieran McCarthy's (IE/EA)
New European Bauhaus
initiative. It underlines that harnessing the creative potential at local
level is crucial to create inclusive and sustainable solutions that will
make the Green Deal a success. Therefore, the rapporteur called the
Commission to clarify how it plans to ensure local and regional
authorities' engagement, what financial resources could support the
initiative and how it will measure the success.
"The New European Bauhaus must become a real movement which involves cities
and regions and is not just another top-down project. It must be a project
for everyone, not just the few. To be successful, this exercise must be
socially, culturally and territorially inclusive", Cork City Councillor
McCarthy pointed out.
MEP Marcus Ros Sempere (ES/PES), Founder of the European
New European Bauhaus Friendship Group
, shared these concerns and expressed his wish that the New European
Bauhaus should be transformed from a movement to an EU programme with a
budget of its own.
Both opinions (EU Missions and New European Bauhaus) are due to be adopted
at the European Committee of the Regions' plenary session on 27-28 April.
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