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

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Cohesion policy

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  • Local finances - 16.05.2017

    How could the next EU budget best help your town or region?
    What will be the key challenges and opportunities for cities and regions after 2020? You can answer the European Committee of the Regions' stakeholder survey on the matter to help it prepare its position on the post-2020 EU budget.
  • Global Urban Agenda - 11.05.2017

    Decentralisation: a key driver for development
    Decentralisation is an essential step for development worldwide. CEMR Secretary General, Frédéric Vallier, defended the importance of decentralised local government as a key driver for development at the 26th UN Habitat Governing Council in Nairobi, Kenya, on 8 May, where he was part of the Global Taskforce delegation.

    He stated: “We need an increased and effective involvement of local governments and their associations in the cooperation with UN-HABITAT. This goes hand in hand with the recognition of decentralisation as a key driver for development, namely for capacity building.”
  • Urban Agenda for the EU - 25.01.2017

    CEMR nominates 4 towns and regions to take part in Urban Agenda partnerships
    CEMR has nominated four urban areas for each partnership of the urban agenda: the cities of Helsingborg (Sweden) for digital transition, Weinheim (Germany) for jobs & skills, Kaunas (Lithuania) for the circular economy, and the region of Skåne (Sweden) with the city of Karlsruhe (Germany) as coordinator for urban mobility.

    The four partnerships of the Urban Agenda for the EU will kick off end of February. The CEMR secretariat will be present for each one of them, to allow our members to contribute. Want to dig deeper? Visit
  • Cohesion policy - 30.11.2016

    Expert group meeting: all territories need simplified access to EU funding
    How can we find solutions to simplify access and management of EU funding for all towns and regions after 2020? This important issue was addressed during the meeting of CEMR’s expert group on territorial cohesion on 29 November, where they discussed the future of cohesion policy after 2020. Among others, the director general of the Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO), Marc Lemaître, and DG REGIO head of unit, Peter Berkowitz, were present.

    For CEMR, the main issue is that all territories need to have simplified access to European structural and investment funds – whether they are urban or rural. EU funds do exist. The problem is that the current application procedures are so complicated that many towns and regions end up not having access – even though they would be entitled to these funds. The next expert group meeting will take place in February, and we are confident we will find a common position.
  • Habitat III - 26.10.2016

    CEMR secretary general reacts to the adoption of the New Urban Agenda
    The New Urban Agenda was adopted during Habitat III in Quito.

    CEMR secretary general Frédéric Vallier made a statement on this topic: "the journey towards the adoption of the global New Urban Agenda ended with the adoption of a text that respects the main positions held by local governments and their associations*. For this reason, CEMR is proud to have represented European towns and regions in these negociations."

    Concerning the implementation of the global agenda, Frédéric Vallier pointed out the need to continue in the same direction:

    "The implementation of the proposals included in the text will have to be done in partnership with all spheres of governance, from the local to the global level. CEMR will be paying attention that towns and regions' needs are taken into account. PLATFORMA, for its part, will be an essential tool to offer cooperation programmes aiming to guarantee the success of this agenda everywhere in the world."
  • Access City Award 2017 - 05.09.2016

    Is your city accessible to everyone? Apply for the award
    EU cities of over 50,000 inhabitants are invited to take part in the seventh edition of the Access City Award.
    This European award is for cities that strive to guarantee equal access to fundamental rights and quality of city life to everyone – regardless of age, mobility or ability.

    The first, second and third prize plus two special mentions (access to work and accessible smart cities) will be announced at the European Day of People with Disabilities Conference in Brussels on 29 November 2016

    The deadline for applications is 8 September 2016.

    See here for more information.
  • Urban Agenda for the EU - 01.08.2016

    CEMR’s voice on Urban Agenda gets heard in Germany
    CEMR’s Executive Director of European Affairs, Angelika Poth-Mögele, wrote an article on how CEMR supports partnerships for the Urban Agenda for the EU in the latest issue of Europa kommunal, CEMR’s German association’s (RGRE) magazine.

    CEMR has been playing a key role in the development of the Urban Agenda for the EU since the beginning; and will continue to make sure there will be greater coherence in EU policies that affect urban areas, namely, by ensuring there is an urban dimension in EU policies and by involving them when shaping EU legislation.
  • Habitat III - 29.07.2016

    Local governments acknowledged as distinct group ahead of Quito conference
    CEMR secretary general, Frédéric Vallier, was representing European towns and regions at the PrepCom3 conference in Surabaya, Indonesia from 25 to 27 July. This meeting confirmed that local governments will be visible and recognised in the latest draft of the New Global Urban Agenda in Quito.

    The president of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) and mayor of Utrecht, Jan van Zanen, was also in Surabaya, representing VNG, CEMR and PLATFORMA.

    Prepcom3 is the third and last preparatory meeting before the Habitat III Conference (the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development), which will take place in Quito, Ecuador, during the week of 17 October 2016.

  • Regions - 17.05.2016

    Urban agenda, migration: European Commission for regional policy listened to local governments
    We should review the way how the principle of governance in partnership worked in the management of the refugee crisis as well as the access of towns and regions to European funds,” said CEMR Policy Officer - Governance and Citizenship, Carlos Mascarell, during the meeting organised by the Commissioner for regional affairs, Corina Creţu, with representatives from regional offices in Brussels. 

    During the meeting participants addressed four topics of importance for local government and in which CEMR is strongly involved: migration, the EU Urban Agenda, the simplification for beneficiaries of EU funds and the future of Cohesion Policy.

    recording of the session is available online.
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