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Chancellor Merkel and Commission President von der Leyen to discuss coronavirus recovery agenda with regions and cities.  

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will discuss the European Union's response to the coronavirus pandemic at the European Committee of the Regions on 12-13 October. The EU's assembly for local and regional politicians will also hold debates with the president and the vice-president of the European Investment Bank, Werner Hoyer and Lilyana Pavlova. Debates will also take place with four commissioners – Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for the European Green Deal; Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reform; Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy; and Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights

The plenary will provide members of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) with an opportunity to assess the potential contribution of the EU to local and regional recovery efforts and to discuss the EU's recovery package and long-term budget.

The debates will be informed by a wide-ranging survey by the CoR on the impact of the pandemic on the health, economies, and communities of the EU's regions and cities. The survey – the first Annual Regional and Local Barometer – draws on feedback gathered through CoR-managed mechanisms, on a survey of sub-national finances conducted jointly with the OECD, and on studies by EU agencies. It also includes the first opinion poll since the pandemic of public trust in local, regional, and national governments across the EU, as well as trust in the EU. The 26,000 people polled by Kantar were, in addition, asked if they felt cities and regions have enough influence on decisions taken at the EU level and – if not – in what areas of life they would like local and regional authorities to have more influence.

Apostolos Tzitzikostas (EL/EPP), President of the European Committee of the Regions and Governor of Central Macedonia, said: "The first-ever Annual Regional and Local Barometer shows some of the areas where the EU should focus its support to regions, cities and villages. It highlights how the pandemic is widening regional socio-economic divides and putting tremendous strain on the finances of local and regional governments. Our specially commissioned opinion poll demonstrates that for our citizens the best way to bring the EU closer to its people and build trust in Europe's politicians is for all levels of government – local, regional, national and European – to cooperate better."

The Annual Regional and Local Barometer (#EURegionalBarometer) is timed to coincide with the European Week of Regions and Cities (#EURegionsWeek), which is co-organised by the CoR and by the European Commission. The 18th edition of the #EURegionsWeek will officially be opened by Commissioner Elisa Ferreira and President Tzitzikostas on 12 October. Commissioner Ferreira will also take part in a Citizen's Dialogue on 13 October.

This year, #EURegionsWeek is spread over three weeks and will primarily be held online. It remains the single largest event organised by the EU, with 800 partners, and over 9,000 registered participants. EU-funded projects that demonstrate particular excellence and new approaches towards regional development will be recognised at the RegioStars award ceremony on 14 October, with five winners selected from a shortlist of 25.

Over the course of the three days (12-14 October) of the CoR plenary session, CoR members will also debate and adopt recommendations on 26 separate items of EU legislation, each of them with the potential to contribute to the EU's recovery effort.


  • 12 October, 11 a.m: Debate on the Annual Local and Regional Barometer, with Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission and Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič.
  • 12 October, 2.30 p.m.: Debate on cohesion and official opening of the 18th #EURegionsWeek, with Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner in charge of Cohesion and Reforms.
  • 13 October, 9 a.m.: Debate on the Green Deal, with Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Commissioner in charge of the European Green Deal.
  • 13 October, 2.30 p.m.: Debate on the German Presidency with Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • 14 October, 10 a.m.: Debate on funds and recovery with Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, and Lilyana Pavlova, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank.
  • 14 October, 11.30 a.m.: EU Matters for Local and Regional Authorities.
  • 14 October, 2.30 p.m.: Debate on resilience and recovery, with Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner in charge of Economy.
  • 14 October, 3.30 p.m.: Debate on social affairs, with Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner in charge of Jobs and Social Rights.


  • The REACT-EU package. Rapporteur: Mieczyslaw Struk (PL/EPP), President of Pomerania.
  • European recovery plan: Recovery and Resilience facility and the Technical Support Instrument. Rapporteur: Christophe Rouillon (FR/PES), Mayor of Coulaines.
  • Cross-border health care. Rapporteur: Karsten Uno Petersen (DK/PES), South Denmark Regional Council.
  • EU Health Emergency Mechanism. Rapporteur: Birgitta Sacrédeus (SE/EPP), Dalarna County Council.
  • EU4Health programme. Rapporteur: Nathalie Sarrabezolles (FR/PES), President of President of the Finistère Departmental Council.
  • The role of the EU's cohesion policy with respect to intelligent and innovative economic change in the regions against the backdrop of the coronavirus crisis. Rapporteur: Michiel Rijsberman (NL/Renew Europe), Council of the Province of Flevoland.
  • A Reinforced Union Civil Protection Mechanism. Rapporteur: Alberto Cirio (IT/EPP), President of the Piedmont Region.
  • A Strong Social Europe for Just Transitions. Rapporteur: Anne Karjalainen (FI/PES), Kerava City Council.
  • Equivalent standards of living as a joint challenge for all levels of government in Europe. Rapporteur: Bernd Lange (DE/EPP), Görlitz district council.
  • Local and Regional Authorities in the permanent dialogue with citizens. Rapporteur: Declan McDonnell (IE/EA), Galway City Council.
  • A new Industrial Strategy for Europe Rapporteur: Jeannette Baljeu (NL/ Renew Europe), Council of the Province of South Holland.
  • The SME Strategy. Rapporteur: Eddy van Hijum (NL/EPP), Council of the Province of Overijssel.
  • Single Market Barriers Report and Single Market Enforcement Action Plan. Rapporteur: Tadeusz Truskolaski (PL/EA), Mayor of Białystok.
  • Regional Innovation Scoreboard and its impact in regional place-based policies Rapporteur: Mikel Irujo Amezaga (ES/EA), Director-General for External Action of the Government of Navarre.
  • A Union of Equality: Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025. Rapporteur: Concepción Andreu Rodríguez (ES/PES), President of the Regional Government of La Rioja.
  • Local Democracy Challenges in the Western Balkans Rapporteur: Nikola Dobroslavić (HR/EPP), Prefect of Dubrovnik-Neretva County.
  • The European Climate Pact. Rapporteur: Rafał Trzaskowski (PL/EPP), Mayor of Warsaw.
  • The renewal of the Leipzig Charter on Sustainable European Cities. Rapporteur: Juan Espadas Ceja (ES/PES), Mayor of Seville.
  • Bio-diverse cities and regions beyond 2020 at the UN CBD COP 15 and in the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. Rapporteur: Roby Biwer (LU/PES), Bettembourg Municipal Council.
  • Towards Sustainable Use of Natural Resources within the Mediterranean insular context. Rapporteur: Francina Armengol i Socias (ES/PES), President of the Balearic Islands.
  • New Circular Economy Action Plan. Rapporteur: Tjisse Stelpstra (NL/ECR), Council of the Province of Drenthe.
  • A Strategy for Europe's Digital future and A Strategy for Data. Rapporteur: Mark Weinmeister (DE/EPP), Secretary of State for European Affairs, Land of Hesse.
  • Artificial Intelligence – A European approach to excellence and trust. Rapporteur: Guido Rink (NL/PES), Emmen municipality.
  • European Year of Rail. Rapporteur: Jaroslaw Piotr Stawiarski (PL/ECR), President of the Lubelskie Region.
  • Demographic change: proposals on measuring and tackling its negative effects in the EU regions. Rapporteur: János Ádám Karácsony (HU/EPP), Tahitótfalu local assembly.

Practical information:

  • Location: European Commission – Charlemagne.
  • Date: Monday, 12 October – Wednesday, 14 October 2020.
  • Background material: The plenary agenda and opinions and amendments.
  • Webstreaming: On the website of the CoR.


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