The objective to build a "More United, Stronger and More Democratic Union" which must be achieved in partnership with Europe's regions sets the right path. It is clear that the European Union and its institutions will only realise this by working together, with every level of government, including local and regional authorities, and that it cannot be "dictated from above". The Reflecting on Europe process launched by our Committee complements the European Commission and other EU institutions' efforts to listen and work with citizens in deciding Europe's future.
President Juncker also correctly declared that subsidiarity and proportionality should lead the future of our European Union. To successfully progress, the EU must work closer with regions and cities in their areas of competencies, particularly if it hopes to deliver environmental policy that moves us towards a low-carbon sustainable economy; improves transport in every community; integrates refugees into our communities; creates decent jobs; contributes to more social justice and fundamentally promotes social and territorial cohesion whilst supporting our local economies. We therefore ask that the European Committee of the Regions be represented in the Subsidiarity and Proportionality Task Force.
The objectives set out by President Juncker cannot be achieved without the right resources. We therefore need a stronger EU budget that matches European ambitions. While welcoming the need for reinforcement of the European Fund for Strategic Investment
, we insist that financial instruments must complement and not replace a cohesion policy for all regions, which goes hand in hand with more flexibility in the implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact.
Cohesion policy is the ultimate expression of European solidarity - something 80%
of citizens feel is lacking in Europe. We therefore call anyone who is convinced in the added-value of cohesion policy to join the #CohesionAlliance
which will be launched on 9 October in Brussels.
No longer can the European Union be complacent. We need to demonstrate that the EU is ready to be more effective and more efficient. That it is socially progressive and improves the lives of every citizen. Local and regional governments are on the frontline of Europe, understand the challenges and what is needed to overcome them, and are the "Wind in Europe's Sails". A “united Europe” needs to listen, work and invest locally.
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