Romania's Prime Minister: future EU budget needs a strong cohesion policy for all regions and cities  

On 6 February, Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă, the Prime Minister of Romania, set out the priorities for the European Union during a debate with local and regional leaders. Romania – who is holding the six-month rotating EU Presidency - said that at a time of growing populism, strengthening European cohesion was of paramount importance and needed the full support of all regions and cities. With the UK's expected departure from the EU in March, complex negotiations on the future EU budget on-going and European elections in May, she called for a shared commitment to competitiveness, convergence and security, stressing the need for a strong cohesion policy in the EU long-term budget post 2020.

During her opening speech held during the European Committee of the Regions (CoR)' #CoRplenary , Prime Minister Dăncilă said, Europe is faced with many challenges and we need to show unity and solidarity, which is why the Romanian EU Presidency is focused on the fundamental value of cohesion in all its dimensions – political, economic and social. We all need to pull our efforts to show the real benefits of the EU in citizens' daily life. The future EU budget needs to give the right resources so it delivers both growth and convergence. This is why the European cohesion policy is so important, without which regional and locally discrepancies would be even larger. It has enabled to build partnerships and bridges between regions and cities, is the EU’s main investment strategy, and has evolved to respond to new challenges. Cohesion policy needs to continue to be for all regions and cities in the future ”.

Karl-Heinz Lambertz , CoR President, said, " This EU Presidency takes place at a pivotal moment for the future of Europe. Governments at all levels share one goal: to renew Europe, building a sustainable, inclusive and cohesive future for every citizen. This needs national governments and the thousands of local and regional leaders across Europe to come together. The Romanian EU Presidency has rightly stressed that cohesion is a fundamental European value. Quite simply, there is no European Union without cohesion, and there will be no cohesion without the full involvement of cities and regions ".

Referring to the 8th Summit of Regions and Cities in Bucharest on 14-15 March, President Lambertz added, " Cities and regions need the Union as much as the Union needs its cities and regions. Whether it is cohesion, fundamental rights, integration or sustainable development, the Union cannot deliver without the support on the ground. The EU must give more say and support to cities and regions: this will be the Summit's message to the EU27 leaders meeting in Sibiu on 9 May ".

***

"( Re)New EUrope": The 8th European Summit of Regions and Cities, 14-15 March, Bucharest, #EULocal

The 8th European Summit of Regions and Cities will be held in Bucharest, Romania, on 14-15 March – just two weeks before the U.K.'s expected exit from the EU on 29 March, and two months ahead of the European elections – is being co-organised by the European Committee of the Regions, the Committee's Romanian Delegation and the Romanian EU Presidency.

Over 500 European, national, regional and local leaders from all EU Member States will be welcomed in the Romanian capital to focus on the contribution of local and regional governments in the EU. The event will also gather 100 young local and regional politicians to engage in the debate on the future of Europe. As such, the Summit will be the largest political gathering of mayors, regional presidents and other elected local and regional representatives from across the Union this year

Under the title "(Re) New EUrope" the Summit will focus on the contribution of local and regional governments to the "Future of Europe", including the impact of Brexit on European regions on the negotiations on the EU long-term budget for 2021-2027 and how it may affect local and regional authorities, as well as the European elections and restoring citizens' trust in the EU.

The event will also see the official launch of the Committee's initiative on a new Network of Regional Hubs (#RegHub), in the presence of the 20 participating regions.

Should you wish to participate in the event as a journalist, you are kindly requested to register via the media accreditation page of the EU Romanian Presidency (deadline: 1 March). Please note that only registered journalists will be able to get media accreditation to the event.

Contact: pressecdr@cor.europa.eu