The first High-Level Forum on Regional Recovery and Resilience made proposals on how to improve the governance and avoid overlaps with cohesion policy
Opening the High-Level Forum, jointly organized by the European Committee
of the Regions (CoR) and the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU,
the President of the CoR,
, said: "
The Recovery and Resilience Facility resources are starting to reach
Member States. It is now our shared duty to put to work every single
Euro of tax-payers' money invested for our recovery. We need a real
partnership between EU, national, regional and local players despite
regulations being not sufficiently clear on regions and cities
involvement. The Committee is carefully monitoring the implementation
of the Facility on the ground and its coordination with cohesion
policy. Our citizens' expectations and needs cannot be overlooked with
Andrej Šircelj, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Slovenia, stated:
I believe that we can achieve great results with a successful
implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility. The best
results will come only from inclusive cooperation. This crisis has
taught us how to cooperate in difficult times – on local, regional, and
international levels. Now, we just have to imagine what we can achieve
with cooperation in promising times and make a step in that direction."
EU Commissioner for Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, underlined
the CoR's " constructive engagement in shaping the final design of the RRF"
and the vital importance of a strong partnership among the different levels
of governments in the forthcoming phase. "
More than two thirds of all national recovery and resilience plans have
already move to the implementation phase. Local and regional
authorities will be key to make these plans a reality and we will
continue to encourage Member States to effectively involve them"
he said, "
the RRF funds and cohesion policy must complement and not substitute
each other: additionality and absorption are the keywords here."
The Forum discussion will feed into the CoR opinion on the RRF
implementation, led by Mr
(NL/ECR) and scheduled for adoption by the Commission for Economic Policies
(ECON) on 29 September. The Committee has provided a
first assessment of national recovery plans' preparation
and will present its findings on the impact of the pandemic on regional and
local communities in the EU Annual Local and Regional Barometer 2021, to be
presented on 12 October during the 19th
European Week of Regions and Cities.
You can re-watch the opening and the first panel discussion of the
High-Level Forum on Recovery and Resilience
The High-Level Forum took place on the occasion of an external meeting of
the CoR bureau in Lipica, Slovenia. Ahead of the bureau, the CoR
Young Elected Politicians (YEPs) Programme
organised an event on Cohesion Policy where young local leaders from all
across the EU were joined by CoR members, the Slovenian State Secretary for
Development and European Cohesion Policy Monika Kirbiš Rojs, European
Commission's representatives and other prominent speakers.
You can re-watch the YEPs event entitled
Cohesion as a value-Benefits and costs for young people of
transitioning to a post Covid-19 world
VOICES FROM THE HIGH-LEVEL FORUM ON REGIONAL RECOVERY AND RESILIENCE
(following the order of the interventions):
(SI/PES), Vice-President of the CoR Slovenian Delegation and Mayor of the
Municipality of Murska Sobota , said: "
The efficient use of each euro from the Recovery and Resilience
Facility depends to a large extent on partnership with local and
regional authorities. To make the most of the resources coming from
both recovery instruments and cohesion policy programmes, national
governments must listen to cities and regions and trust them that this
money will be spent transparently."
(IE/EPP), Mayor of Clonmel and Chair of the CoR Commission for Economic
Policy (ECON), said: "
The challenges we face are not 'one size fits all', they differ in kind
and in intensity across European regions, cities, towns and rural
areas. We need tailored solutions, implemented together with the local
level. A top-down approach to the recovery would mean that investments
and reforms might simply not match the reality of opportunities and
challenges on the ground."
(NL/ECR), CoR rapporteur on The implementation of the RRF, said: " Europe’s recovery,
the digital and sustainable transition depend on the direct involvement
of local and regional authorities
. Therefore, they
need to be structurally involved in implementing the recovery plans
. As the involvement varies among member states, we
must share our experiences and learn from each other."
(DE/GREENS), Member of the European Parliament and rapporteur on the
Technical Support Instrument (TSI), said: "
A socially inclusive, green and digital transition poses multi-faceted
challenges that can only be addressed with an active role of local and
regional authorities. The Technical Support Instrument gives local and
regional authorities the opportunity to create tailor-made knowledge:
asking experts to set out bespoke strategies and roadmaps, organizing
seminars and workshops or learning from each other's best practices.
Climate-tracking, gender budgeting and open-source solutions to promote
digitalized and highly accessible administrations are only a few
examples for the many tailor-made solutions the TSI can facilitate."
María Del Valle Miguelez Santiago, Vice-President of Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) and Regional
Minister for Enterprise, Employment, Universities and Spokesperson for
Murcia Region, said: "
Regions are key players in delivering the EU's climate and digital
priorities and their competences relate to multiple recovery plans’
objectives. Having a clear understanding of the investment needs at
territorial level, regions deserve a role within the relevant political
decision-making fora to define and implement the recovery funding. It
is for this reason that in the coming months we can provide added value
for an efficient use of European funds and achieve the desired targets."
(PL/EPP), Member of the CoR 'Green Deal Going Local' working group, said: "
75% of EU citizens live in cities that are the main producers of
greenhouse gas emissions. But they are also the hubs and sources of
action and innovation both in the areas of mitigation and adaptation to
climate change. The global forum on climate action taking place in
Glasgow represents an important opportunity for local and regional
leaders to showcase what cities and regions can do and are already
doing to reach climate-neutrality."
Zvone Černač, Minister for Development and European Cohesion Policy of Slovenia, said:
An essential objective and a challenge at the same time is to establish
a framework which will ensure synergies between short-term and
long-term mechanisms on the one hand, and simplify implementation
procedures on the other, with local and regional authorities playing a
key role alongside national governments."
(FR/PES), Chair of the CoR Commission for Territorial Cohesion policy and
Budget (COTER), said: "Europe has made an unprecedented effort to limit the social and
economic consequences of the pandemic. But money is not all. Let us not
forget the method: partnership and multi-level governance have proved
its worth with cohesion policy. Renationalisation of European policies
through the Recovery Plan is not the solution. Let’s trust regions to
protect citizens and SMEs."
(SK/ECR), CoR rapporteur on Engaging local and regional authorities in the
preparation of the 2021-27 Partnership Agreements and Operational
Programmes, said: "
Partnership, along with the subsidiarity, is the most important
principle from the cities and regions’ perspective and we must ensure
it is fully implemented in all stages of the new programming period."
(SV/RENEW E.), Chair of the CoR Commission for Natural Resources (NAT),
For several years we have seen a growing gap between the attention paid
and the funds available to urban areas and to rural areas.
Unfortunately, the European Commission adopted its long-term vision for
rural development only after the funding programmes until 2027 were
set. The CoR will be supporting the Commission in this vision but we
cannot wait until 2028! We need to close the gap between rural and
urban areas now."
Eddy van Hijum
(NL/EPP), CoR rapporteur on SMEs Strategy, said: "
We as local and regional authorities can be a partner for the European
Commission by being in contact with our SMEs and with local authorities
such as chambers of commerce. If we want to achieve the goals that have
been set and to come back stronger after COVID-19, we need to be
partners in this transition. From the smallest SMEs in our home regions
to the Commission, we all have a role to play make the transitions work."
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