President Apostolos Tzitzikostas presented the Regional and Local
Barometer to President Ursula von der Leyen, warning of a “COVID lost
generation” and of growing regional inequalities.
The first EU-wide
Regional and Local Barometer
– produced by the
European Committee of the Regions
– warns that Coronavirus pandemic is heavily
impacting sub-national authorities' revenues: in
Italy, Germany and France alone, their losses could
total 30 billion euros in 2020. The crisis is also
widening social and economic inequalities in the
EU's territories. The Report warns that the crisis
risks creating a "COVID lost generation" of young
people, and highlights serious disparities between
regional healthcare systems. The increasing
rural-urban divide also represents a clear threat
to EU's cohesion.
Presenting the results of the Annual Regional and Local
(EL/EPP), President of the European Committee of the
Regions and governor of the Region of Central Macedonia
in Greece, said: “
The Barometer aims at better understanding the
needs of people
to provide the right answers. Only by taking the
pulse of our communities can we decide how
effective the EU has been on the ground, and what
the EU needs to do help its regions, cities and
villages. Our Report confirms that the pandemic has
hurt us all. Over 90% of EU regions and
municipalities expect their revenues to plummet."
''The crisis" –
continued President Tzitzikostas
– "threatens to create a lost COVID-19 generation,
with young people's jobs being more at risk, and
only six Member States able to offer digital
education for 80% or more of students. The
67% of Europeans who want cities and regions to
have more influence on EU decisions tell us
that it is time to re-think how EU democracy
works, to better connect it with people in the
As regional and local leaders, we are committed
to working together at the EU and national
levels to recover from the pandemic and
building resilient and sustainable
President von der Leyen
, who was addressing the EU’s assembly for local and
regional politicians for the first time since taking
office, said: "Local authorities were the first line of
defence when the crisis hit. Europeans know what their
mayors, governors or councillors have done for them.
They will be at the core of our recovery.
NextGenerationEU's resources will therefore target the
resilience of our health systems. The European funds
will enable investments in new hospitals, better
equipment and stronger healthcare systems And local
administrations should be in the driving seat."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
will also address the European Committee of the Regions
on 13 October, in her capacity as leader of the country
that holds the rotating presidency of the Council of
the European Union.
The Barometer offers a snapshot of the impact of the
social, economic and health crisis on EU's regions and
cities. Its facts and findings are complemented by a
survey of sub-national finances conducted jointly with
the OECD, and by a public-opinion poll on the role and
impact of regional and local authorities on the
European decision-making process.
According to the
of over 26,000 Europeans conducted by Kantar in the
first two weeks of September,
Europeans trust local and regional governments more
than they trust national governments or the EU,
both in general and in their response to the pandemic.
They would like local and regional governments to have
more influence on EU decisions relating to health, to
employment and social affairs, and to education,
training and culture.
Annual Regional and Local Barometer
(#EURegionalBarometer) contributed to a resolution "
Local and regional authorities facing COVID-19
and building the recovery
" that the 329 members of the CoR – the EU's political
assembly of local and regional governments - will adopt
on 13 October.
Findings of the Annual Regional and Local
Spokesperson of the President
Tel. +32 (0)498 9823 49
Speech of President Tzitzikostas
: Available on the
of the President of the European Committee of the
Debate in full
: On the
of the CoR.
The plenary in full:
Please visit our
: For country-specific information, audiovisual
support, and other questions, please contact: