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President Tzitzikostas to President Michel: Delaying EU budget and investment plan are putting lives, jobs and recovery at risk  

"EU budget must be tied to rule of law but regions and cities should not lose out for national governments behaviour", says CoR President.

During bilateral talks with the President of the European Council, President Tzitzikostas said that access to the EU's budget and investment plans must be on the condition that the rule of law was fully respected. Nevertheless, he said that regional and local governments should not bear the consequences if national governments broke the rules. The President of the European Committee of the Regions also called on the European Parliament to help end the impasse in agreeing the EU budget and recovery plans, which could put Europe's recovery at risk.

President Tzitzikostas said, "The pandemic has caused tax revenues to plummet and demand on public services to escalate. By delaying an agreement on the €1.8 trillion EU budget and recovery plans, there is a serious risk public services will collapse around Europe, risking lives and jobs. The European Parliament and all negotiators must play ball to find a compromise for the sake of Europe, its citizens and its recovery."

During the meeting, the two EU leaders also agreed that the COVID-19 crisis illustrated the need to assess the EU's health competencies, ensuring the planned European Health Union sufficiently reflects the competencies between EU, national, regional and local governments. Referring to the recent cooperation launched by the European Committee of the Regions and the European Commission on delivering the EU's Green Deal locally, President Tzitzikostas also proposed that future European Council Conclusions committed member states to working with regional and local governments on climate action. 

President Tzitzikostas further advocated to President Michel the idea of holding "Local Dialogues" to ensure "an open and honest bottom-up debate with people on their real needs". He reiterated his message shared last week with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen and Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, saying the "Conference on the Future of Europe must not be a beauty contest between Brussels institutions but lead to the profound democratisation of Europe."

Contact:

Michele Cercone

Spokesperson of the President

Tel. +32 (0)498 982 349

michele.cercone@cor.europa.eu