The CoR is ready to develop digital platforms - based on the success of its COVID-19 online Exchange Platform - to help the European Commission support local economy, SMEs, tourism and digitalisation.
Local and regional leaders also call for strong EU action in favour of regional airports
In a debate with the European Commissioner for Internal market, Thierry Breton, CoR members highlighted the success of the online Exchange Platform created by the CoR to enable local and regional governments share the best practises in responding the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on this successful example, CoR members proposed Commissioner Breton to jointly promote the digitalisation and the innovative use of digital platforms to support the European Commission's work in strategic fields as transport, tourism, social and education services.The assembly of EU regions and cities, also asked for a stronger support to relaunch the tourism industry, highlighting in particular the vital role of regional airport and of the airlines that connect them. Regional and local leaders stressed that the pandemic boosted the adoption of digital and innovative solutions but, at the same time, made visible persisting massive digital gaps.
“In our recent meeting, Commissioner Breton appreciated the COVID-19
exchange platform launched by our Committee to share experiences on the fight
against the pandemic. We would be happy to keep developing these tools with the
European Commission to support the implementation of the recovery plans for the
local economy, SMEs and tourism'' said the CoR President, Apostolos
Tzitzikostas. ''As the holidays
season approaches – he added – regional
airports and airline companies that use them must restart their activity and we
are working to make sure they can do it quickly and safely. We expect a
response from the European Commission, in light of the regional airports
added-value for tourism and of their contribution to the EU economy. This is
not only a regional or national issue, this is a European issue, as it is
directly linked to the functioning of the single market".Commissioner Breton said: "The Commission proposal for European recovery is unprecedented both in its volume and in its political, institutional and economic architecture. Local and regional leaders will play a fundamental role in its effective implementation. Thanks to their experience on the ground, they are on the front line to identify needs, emergency situations, hardest hit sectors or the most effective support measures. Local and regional communities are at the heart of the development of high-performance, sustainable and resilient industrial ecosystems, to support the development of transregional value chains and thus fully benefit from the internal market".
The online Exchange Platform, made available since March to regional and local authorities across Europe, has collected so far more than 250 contributions, inputs and suggestions on how to best manage the emergency and on how to foster economic and social recovery from a regional and local angle. Contributions can be sent to the functional mailbox: COVID19@cor.europa.eu