Apostolos Tzitzikostas, President of the Committee of the regions, following
the meeting with David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament.
''I discussed with President Sassoli the current migration and refugee crisis affecting Greece and Bulgaria. We agreed that the EU Member States must show solidarity and swiftly adopt the European Parliament's proposal to reform the Dublin Regulation, in order to evenly share across all Member States, regions and cities the burden of responsibility. This new crisis cannot be seen as a national issue: it is a European issue. I informed President Sassoli that I am putting the migration crisis at the top of our Committee's next Plenary session, and I asked him to also put it in the agenda of the next European Parliament Plenary.
We agreed that citizens' health comes first, and therefore the EU must show concrete support and solidarity with countries, regions and cities most severely hit by the Coronavirus outbreak. We need to urgently define a joint European plan to coordinate across all levels of governments to inform citizens, act proportionally and ensure the right services are made available.
I told President Sassoli that our citizens, our local and regional communities, want to see a stronger Europe in action that delivers results. We agreed that to match our citizens' expectations, the European Union needs an ambitious and cohesive budget equivalent to 1.3% of EU GNI, as proposed by the European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions.
We also agreed to strengthen the cooperation between the European Parliament and the European Committee of the Regions, in view of the upcoming Conference on the future of Europe. Democracy in Europe is facing serious challenges. Being the two institutions with a political mandate directly given by people, we must join forces if we want the Conference to be a success''.
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