Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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News in brief

  • Fair wages - 04.09.2020

    Social partners' ability to negotiate wages should not be undermined
    The European Commission is considering introducing legislation to ensure fair minimum wages across the Union. While the aim is laudable, CEMR has grave concerns about the Commission’s approach, which have been shared with the EU executive as part of its official consultation.

    As employers, local governments fear that the proposed legislation would infringe on the autonomy of social partners to negotiate wages and could even create a downward convergence of wages around the minimum standards.

    For more information, please consult CEMR’s full response to consultation.
  • ​Urban Security - 27.08.2020

    Consultation: shape future policies on urban security
    Is your local government working on urban security? Would you like to share good practices with your counterparts around Europe in the use of smart and safe technologies to secure cities?

    The EU’s Urban Agenda Partnership on Security in Public Spaces is drafting its action plan and wants to collect concrete information coming from the ground.

    Should you want to contribute, you have until 9 September to complete this public survey.
  • Equality - 24.08.2020

    ​Luxembourgish cities and towns join forces with the central government to advance gender equality
    It would take 308 years to achieve full equality between women and men in Luxembourg. This is why, the central government has decided to prioritise the fight for gender equality with its new national action plan (2020-2022). Among other initiatives, the action plan will take stock of the situation in 102 towns and cities and will ensure: 
    • A partnership with CEMR’s Luxembourgish association (SYVICOL), 
    • The creation of a back office with useful and updated information and examples of good practice for towns and cities,
    • Support for towns and cities provided by gender equality advisors

    You can read the full action plan in French here.
  • Have your say - 20.08.2020

    How can the EU's energy rules contribute to a low-carbon future?
    The European Commission is reviewing the EU’s rules on energy efficiency and renewable energies. The goal: to see what reforms to this legislation could contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 55% by 2030. From refurbishing buildings to the transformation of local power supplies, these rules naturally have a significant impact on towns and regions.

    Municipalities, regions and their associations have until 21 September 2020 to share their views. You can answer the consultations on energy efficiency and/or renewable energies via the Commission’s website.
  • Competition - 19.08.2020

    ARLEM Award 2021: calling all young local entrepreneurs in the Mediterranean!
    Does your company work with local government? Does your municipality or region support entrepreneurs driving social change? If so, you can compete for the Committee of the Regions’ ARLEM Award, which rewards young entrepreneurs serving their communities in cooperation with local or regional governments.
    Enterprises will be judged according to their positive social impact, job creation, innovation, percentage of women in the workforce and respect for workers’ rights. The Award is open to applicants from the South Mediterranean partner countries.

    To find more information and apply, please consult the ARLEM Award's web page. Enterprises and local or regional governments have up to 31 August 2020 to apply. 
  • PAYT - 12.08.2020

    Pay-As-You-Throw Toolkit for European cities
    For too long, polluters have not paid the full price for the damage they cause to our shared environment.  The Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) principle seeks to address this by pricing in the cost of throwing things away. PAYT systems reward people and business who responsibly separate rubbish and penalises those who do not.

    The PAYT Toolkit enables European cities to create systems that price in the cost of throwing away waste. It provides municipal administrations with a comprehensive process to institute PAYT: assessment of their current waste management situation, creation of appropriate IT systems, involvement of citizens and much more.
    The Toolkit was created by the Italian municipality of Prato as part of EU Urban Agenda's partnership on circular economy. The urban Agenda directly connects European, national and city policymakers in order to improve regulation, knowledge and access to funding. CEMR represents European municipalities and its national associations within the Urban Agenda and actively contributes to most of the thematic partnerships.

    Checkout the Urban Agenda website to discover some of the other actions being taken, from air quality to urban mobility. What’s more, you can also attend the next online meeting on 8 September of the platform for cooperation on the environment, dedicated to the circular economy as an enabler for a sustainable recovery. The outcome of the partnership's work will be presented at this event organised by the European Commission (DG Environment) and the Committee of the Regions.
  • Consultation - 30.07.2020

    How can we decarbonise European transport?
    As part of the Green Deal, the European Union wants to reduce transport-related greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2050. But how should Europe go about achieving this?

    Local and regional governments and their associations are encouraged to send in their suggestions to the European Commission. Indeed, the EU’s executive intends to adopt a strategy to meet this target and ensure that the European transport sector is fit for a clean, digital and modern economy.

    Objectives include: increasing the uptake of zero-emission vehicles, making sustainable alternative solutions available to the public and businesses, supporting digitalisation and automation, and improving connectivity and access.

    Please click here for more information and to submit your suggestions. You have until 10 August to respond.
  • Public health - 29.07.2020

    The WHO's tips for cities fighting COVID-19
    Cities are central to modern life, hosting a majority of the world's population today as well as crucial economic sectors. As densely populated areas and transport hubs, cities face particular challenges in containing epidemics. They also have assets, often holding considerable medical infrastructure and resources.

    With this in mind, the World Health Organization has issued a short publication providing practical information to city governments fighting against the coronavirus, entitled Strengthening Preparedness for COVID-19 in Cities and Urban Settings Interim Guidance for Local Authorities.

    The WHO provides a checklist of measures for cities to take to be well prepared for COVID and other epidemics. These include identifying potentially vulnerable populations, adopting a holistic and evidence-based approach and organising effective communication channels with residents. The WHO also stresses the importance of “coordination and coherence in measures across all governance levels”.
  • Have your say - 27.07.2020

    How can the EU better integrate migrants?
    The European Commission is seeking advice on how to better promote the integration and social inclusion of migrants and their children.

    Towns, regions and associations with experience in this area have until 21 September to send in their ideas and suggestions as part of the Commission’s consultation on the future of EU migrant integration policies. CEMR will be answering this consultation, but you may also send an individual response.

    What’s more, the Commission is setting up a new expert group of migrant advisors. Migrants, or people with a migrant background, with experience in migrant integration issues are encouraged to apply, as are organisations representing migrants’ interests. Be sure to share this opportunity with qualified individuals and organisations you know of. They have until 21 October to apply.
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