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Mayors and presidents of conurbations from the "Villes de France" association join the #CohesionAlliance  

A delegation of mayors and presidents of conurbation authorities (communautés d'agglomération) from the " Villes de France " association met the President of the European Committee of the Regions and signed up to the #CohesionAlliance , signalling their support for a strong EU cohesion policy that benefits all cities and regions after 2020.

A delegation of mayors and presidents of conurbation authorities led by Caroline Cayeux, Mayor of Beauvais and President of Villes de France, met the President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), Karl-Heinz Lambertz, today in Brussels in order to discuss the challenges facing the future of cohesion policy in the context of the next long-term EU budget for 2020-2027.

The impact of Brexit on the EU budget (i.e. an annual loss of EUR 12 to 13 billion) and the EU's adoption of new policy priorities – such as defence, security and migration management – risk calling European cohesion policy into question. That is why the European Committee of the Regions, in partnership with the leading EU associations of local and regional authorities, launched the #CohesionAlliance movement last October. The initiative aims to inform European decision-makers of the importance of maintaining a robust cohesion policy for all cities and regions after 2020, and to advocate that this policy should continue to play a central role in the European Union.

"EU cohesion policy must cover all European regions, as we are aware that even the richest regions and cities have pockets of poverty. Between 2014 and 2020, more than EUR 26 billion will be invested in France thanks to cohesion policy so as to create jobs and stimulate growth, to encourage the transition to a low-carbon economy, and to support SMEs' competitiveness and innovation," said the CoR President, Karl-Heinz Lambertz. "More than EUR 6 billion will be invested in cities to promote employment and social inclusion and to combat poverty. Already between 2007 and 2013, cohesion policy improved urban transport for more than 440 000 people in France. The cost of non-cohesion is the fracturing of our regions and of the entire continent," he added.

"Cohesion policy is a bridge between the EU and the regions – a tangible testament to the European project for our citizens. In the face of rising euroscepticism, all regions should be supported" stated Caroline Cayeux, the President of Villes de France.

"The elected representatives in the Villes de France association, which brings together medium-sized towns in between large metropolises and rural areas, reiterate their commitment to this policy. Cohesion policy contributes to reducing inequalities and represents an opportunity to move forward together towards balanced and sustainable regional development. This co-funding delivers on EU objectives each and every day, by means of projects related to employment, health, energy, education, culture and mobility. Local authorities can be the European Union's best partners," she stressed.

The delegation from the Villes de France association included:

  • Caroline Cayeux , Mayor of Beauvais, President of the Beauvaisis conurbation authority, President of Villes de France;

  • Bruno Bourg-Broc , President of the Châlons-en-Champagne conurbation, honorary president;

  • Gilbert Meyer , Mayor of Colmar, President of the Colmar conurbation authority, vice-president;

  • Jérôme Baloge , Mayor of Niort, President of the Niort conurbation authority;

  • Luc Bouard , Mayor of La Roche-sur-Yon, President of the La Roche-sur-Yon conurbation authority;

  • Julien Freyburger , Mayor of Maizières-lès-Metz, President of the Rives de Moselle community of municipalities;

  • Laurent Kalinowski , Mayor of Forbach, President of the Forbach conurbation authority.

Press notes:

Villes de France is an association of elected representatives that includes towns with between 15 000 and 100 000 inhabitants, and the conurbations formed by these towns. Together, these communities are home to almost half of the population of France (30 million people). The association, which represents 600 French towns and 300 "intercommunalities" (intercommunalités), defends the interests of medium-sized towns and conurbations in the French regional and institutional framework.

The #CohesionAlliance is a grassroots campaign open to all who believe that EU cohesion policy must continue to be a pillar of the European Union's future under the post-2020 EU budget. The Alliance was launched by the European Committee of the Regions in partnership with the leading European associations of local and regional authorities to defend a cohesion policy that is stronger, more effective, visible and available to all cities and regions after 2020.

Since its launch in October last year, the Alliance has gained almost 3 000 signatories, including local and regional authorities, MEPs, EU ministers, and business, university and trade union associations.

More information at https://cohesionalliance.eu .

Contact:

Nathalie Vandelle
Tel. +32 2 282 2499
nathalie.vandelle@cor.europa.eu