Cohesion policy – the EU's main investment and solidarity tool - has reduced disparities, spread innovation and brought sustainable growth. It must continue to be a pillar of the EU in the future and not be undermined by the financial impact of Brexit or the need to fund new tasks. This message was delivered by EU, national local and civil society leaders who gathered in Brussels to launch the #CohesionAlliance during the opening of the European Week of Regions and Cities .
#CohesionAlliance: Europe-wide coalition demands a strong and more effective EU regional policy after 2020
#CohesionAlliance: MEPs join local leaders' fight for a strong cohesion policy post 2020
Building the Cohesion Alliance
"State of the European Union: the View of Regions and Cities"
In the context of the ongoing political debate on the future of Europe, President Lambertz's Address ( video , speech ) aimed to take stock of the current achievements of EU's cities and regions and look ahead to the main challenges for the coming years. President Lambertz touched upon a series of key EU issues for local and regional authorities, ranging from regaining citizens' trust and the future of cohesion policy, to migration, Brexit and Europe's social model.
Lambertz insisted that, " Just as the European level influences the local and regional levels, local and regional levels should now be able to exert their full influence at European level ". To further make the voices of cities and regions heard, he announced that the CoR would hold a "European Union Summit of Regions and Cities" in the first quarter of 2019 to " send clear, specific messages to the heads of state or government and to the leaders of the Union ".
#SOTREG: President Lambertz delivers first annual "State of the European Union: the View of Regions and Cities" address
Less than a month ahead UN climate talks in COP23, Commissioner Cañete addressed the assembly saying that Europe will pursue its global leadership on climate and reiterated the vital role cities and regions play in combating global warming. Members adopted Marco Dus (IT/PES) opinion on climate finance . During the COP23, cities and regions will look for enhanced cooperation with US and Canadian cities and defend Andrew's Cooper (UK/EA) concept of Locally Determined Contributions to be established in addition to Nationally Determined Contributions to help bridge the emissions gap.
#COP23: Climate change: EU regions and cities look to cooperate across borders to deliver the Paris Agreement
Local targets agreed to tackle climate change
Disaster risk reduction
A call by Karl-Heinz Lambertz for the European Union to invest heavily to reduce the risks posed by earthquakes and extreme weather conditions was echoed by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Robert Glasser, and the EU's Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Cretu. The special representative and the EU Commissioner were speaking on 12 October at a conference co-organised by the CoR and the UN to mark the International Day for Disaster Reduction (13 October). Helping cities to become more resilient and adapt to climate change was a major theme at the European Week of Regions and Cities and in the CoR's plenary . The UN and the CoR are working together to encourage regional and local governments to adopt risk-reduction strategies.
Press release: Natural disasters: EU must invest locally today, to save lives tomorrow
"High-speed broadband connectivity is a cornerstone of the EU's Digital Single Market and a prerequisite for competiveness at global level" , stated CoR President at the inaugural meeting of the Broadband Platform in the presence of the Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel. The new platform, which has been set up jointly by the CoR and the European Commission, aims to help high-speed broadband reach all European regions, including rural and sparsely populated areas where there is not enough market-driven development. Participants, who include 12 CoR members, will meet twice a year to discuss various topics related to broadband deployment: policy and governance, technology choices, financial sources, regulatory framework.
Broadband Platform: Cities and regions join forces with the Commission to narrow the digital divide