Statement of the President of the European Committee of the Regions, Apostolos Tzitzikostas
The Eurogroup agreement on €540bn safety nets is a sign of European solidarity and unity. It is good news for thousands of local leaders who struggle to provide health and basic services, while their budgets shrink because of increased costs and loss of fiscal income.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Stabilisation Mechanism (ESM) must help Presidents of Regions and Mayors across Europe to protect citizens and provide the services their communities need. In this emergency situation, collecting waste, ensuring local transport and guaranteeing social services is more difficult and expensive, while healthcare capacity is put at severe test. Freezing of the business activities in tourism, recreational and food services, leads to a considerable loss of local fiscal income.
I call on EU's heads of State and Government to take into account the specific needs of regions and cities across Europe, and to make sure that a fair share of the funds unleashed by the EIB and ESM directly support them.
I also call for an ambitious recovery plan including a strand for local public finance and focusing on boosting resilience and sustainability of our local communities. Our Committee will provide its proposals for a robust recovery plan based on the EU budget in the shortest delay, building on the direct experience and of the feedback of its members on the frontline.
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