Direct funding for cities and regions to translate the Green Deal into tangible projects at the local level remains the key challenge ahead
While countries across Europe are seeing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, EU cities and regions are engaged in a continuous cooperation to keep the Green Deal at the heart of the recovery. Direct access to EU funds as to deliver the Green Deal and a just transition locally remain the top priority for local and regional authorities across the EU.
During the second meeting of the Green Deal Going Local working group, on 21 October, members of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) exchanged thoughts on the numerous files that fall under the remit of the EU's growth strategy to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Industry, transport, agriculture and a strong social Europe were amongst the discussed topics.
The meeting took place after the European Commission and the CoR committed last week to a new phase of cooperation to accelerate the implementation of the Green Deal in Europe's regions and cities, notably in three areas: energy efficiency in buildings, clean transport and greening cities.
Opening the debate, Juan Espadas (ES/PES), Mayor of Seville and Chair of the CoR's commission for the environment, climate change and energy and Chair of the CoR's Green Deal working group, said: "The European Green Deal is the pillar on which we must build back better our cities and regions, creating new jobs, reducing CO2 emissions and fighting social inequality. Today, once again, the European Committee of the Regions has demonstrated its ability to be a platform that effectively binds together key stakeholders, including European institutions, local and regional authorities, civil society and businesses as to build a more sustainable future for us all.”
The meeting of the Green Deal Going Local working group gathered the CoR rapporteurs of key Green Deal files. Amongst them:
Andries Gryffroy (BE/EA), Member of the Flemish Parliament, presented his ongoing opinion on 'The impact of climate change on regions: an assessment of the European Green Deal'. Read here our interview with rapporteur Gryffroy.
Rafal Trzaskowski (PL/EPP), Mayor of Warsaw, addressed members on 'The European Climate Pact', an opinion adopted at the last plenary session on 13 October 2020. Read here our interview with Mayor Trzaskowski.
Jeannette Baljeu (NL/Renew Europe), Member of the Council of the Province of Zuid-Holland, intervened on 'A new Industrial strategy for Europe', an opinion adopted unanimously during the October 2020 plenary session. Click here to read our interview with rapporteur Jeannette Baljeu.
Anne Karjalainen (FI/PES), Member of Kerava City Council, summarised her opinion on 'A Strong Social Europe for Just Transitions', adopted last week during the CoR's October plenary session.
Declan McDonnell (IE/EA), Member of the Galway City Council, addressed CoR members on his opinion on 'Local and Regional Authorities in the permanent dialogue with citizens', a key contribution to the upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe. The opinion was adopted during the CoR's October plenary session.
Adam Struzik (PL/EPP), President of Mazovia Region, summarised the key points of his opinion on the 'Challenges for public transport in cities and metropolitan regions', an opinion due to be adopted at the CoR's plenary session in December.
Guido Milana (IT/PES), Member of the Olevano Romano Municipal Council, summarised his opinion on the 'From Farm to Fork' – the local and regional dimension', an opinion that will be adopted at the CoR's plenary session in December.
Green Deal Going Local (GDGL) is a new initiative of the European Committee of the Regions that aims at placing cities and regions at the core of the European Green Deal and ensuring that both the EU's sustainable growth strategy and the COVID-19 recovery plans translate into direct funding for cities and regions and tangible projects for every territory. Green Deal Going Local was launched on 15 June 2020 with the creation of a specific Working Group composed of 13 members. Read the press release here.
On 13 October 2020, during a plenary session debate with Frans Timmermans, the European Commission's Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, the European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) committed to a new phase of cooperation to accelerate the delivery of the Green Deal in Europe's regions and cities. Read our press release here.
Cities and regions are already delivering the transition on the ground. Discover 200 Green Deal best practices in our online map.
This event is part of the EU Regions Week 2020.
David Crous // email@example.com // +32 (0) 470 88 10 37