Local and regional authorities, represented in the EU by the European Committee of the Regions, have always been the backbone of European democracy. The recent COVID-19 pandemic showed local and regional leaders as the driving force of local communities, responding during the emergency and leading the EU's recovery. Bringing Europe closer to people through its villages, cities and regions will therefore be the primary mission of our Committee achieved through three main priorities.
All decisions must be taken as close as possible to citizens, in line with the subsidiarity principle. This entails showcasing and strengthening the role of local and regional authorities in the EU.
The Conference on the Future of Europe is an opportunity to improve the way the EU works, sharing and upscaling successful practices of civil participation, which our members have developed in their constituencies, and reforming the EU decision-making process. We will also continue to ensure new EU legislation reduces administrative burden and implementation costs for our regions.
All European decisions should be taken in light of our commitment to tackle the major societal transformations facing our villages, cities and regions. These include global pandemics, the green and digital transitions, demographic challenges and migratory flows. Coming out stronger together from such transitions will determine our capability to claim ownership of our future and build resilience in local communities.
We will promote cohesion as a fundamental value in all of the EU's policies and programmes.
Fostering cohesion in Europe needs an ambitious long-term EU budget that offers sufficient structural and cohesion funding and agricultural investment for all regions and cities.
But cohesion is more than just money: it is a value that leads sustainable economic growth, creates long-term employment opportunities for all and delivers place-based policies that meets citizens' needs.
Bringing Europe closer to people: Democracy and the future of the EU
Rethinking how democracy works today
and how it must be modernised in the future in order for the European Union
to answer more efficiently people's needs
Our main priority is to bring Europe closer to its people and to reinforce
European democracy at all levels of government. It aims to improve the way the EU works, ensuring its policies and
programmes meet the real needs of citizens.
Managing fundamental societal transformations:
Building resilient regional and local communities
Responding to the major transformations our regions, cities and towns
are facing today
through a coherent, integrated and local European approach
Global pandemics, climate, digital and demographic transitions, as well as
the flow of migration, are having a profound impact on every European
region, city, town and village. Led by the UN's Sustainable Development
Goals, we will identify solutions to ensure the EU sufficiently supports
local and regional authorities in responding to future emergencies and
addressing the societal transformations taking place in their communities.
Cohesion, our fundamental value:
Place-based EU policies
Putting the EU at the service of its people and their places of living
Cohesion is not money, it is our fundamental EU value.
Our third priority will be to ensure that economic, social and territorial
cohesion is fostered and respected in all EU policies that affect people
and their places of living (place-based policies). It will showcase the
added value of cohesion not only as a policy, but as a fundamental value
that must underpin all EU policies.