News in brief
Development - 08.12.2020
'U-LEAD with Europe' is organising the International Expert Exchange 2020 – Development of Municipalities: Trust, Institutions, Finance, and People on 10-11 December online.
Two intensive days of discussion, knowledge exchange, and sharing bold, innovative ideas on key regional and local development challenges, relevant for both the Ukrainian and the international audience.
The event will bring more than 30 speakers: high-level officials, experts, diplomats, scholars, from 12 countries.
Recovery plan - 01.12.20206th European University (26-27 November) of CEMR's French section (AFCCRE), under the theme "Europe facing the crisis: support territories!".
The list of participants included the mayors of Fontainebleau, Fréderic Valletoux, and Quimperlé, Michaël Quernez, MEP Anne Sander and CEMR secretary general, Frédéric Vallier. The assembled leaders called for a better coordination and clarity concerning the access to EU funds and the fight against exclusion and poverty, in view of the devastating impact of the crisis.
Nearly 58 billion euros - under cohesion policy and the recovery plan - are expected by French local governments to address the social crisis and revive the economy. This is why Philippe Laurent, the mayor of Sceaux and president of AFCCRE, called on the EU and national governments “to trust the territories and their elected representatives to make the crisis management and crisis management measures understandable and operational."
CoR-OECD survey - 30.11.2020impact of COVID-19 on local and regional governments. The two bodies received 300 responses from local and regional representatives in 24 EU countries, providing a unique territorial view on coordination against the pandemic, the state of local finances and prospects for recovery.
The study is a useful complement to CEMR’s own survey of national associations of local and regional governments on the question of local finances and COVID. Indeed, there are shared results: local finances are under extreme strain and there needs to be effective national support and coordination to overcome the crisis.
Emperor Maximilian Prize 2021 - 25.11.2020
Individuals, private associations and public institutions are eligible for the €10,000-prize. Previous winners have included Swedish politician Anders Knape for his lifelong advocacy for local and regional government and the Tyrolean association “Rückenwind”, which enables underprivileged young people to go abroad for an international project.
For more information, please go on the Kaiser Maximilian Prize’s website. The public tender and prize information are available in multiple European languages.
Study - 24.11.2020
Drawing on academic and policy expert discussions with the European Commission, the study shows what cities, regions and rural areas can do in a wide range of areas, including energy supply, conversion and use, the transformation of mobility systems and land use practices.
To find out more and read the report, please consult the OECD website.
Survey - 23.11.2020
To help answer this question, municipalities, regions and their associations are encouraged to share their views on this issue by responding to the Committee of the Regions’ survey on applying the Partnership Principle to EU funds for 2021-2027. The questionnaire should only take 10-15 minutes to complete and the survey will be open until 21 December 2020. In parallel, CEMR will be publishing its own analysis of the issue in the coming months, based on a survey of its national associations.
Consultation - 20.11.2020
With the launch of a public consultation on energy efficiency, the European Commission wants to hear the views of municipalities, regions and their associations on how to improve this legislation. The EU wants to hear about your experiences and proposals! So do not hesitate to get involved. The consultation’s online questionnaire will be available in all official EU languages. You have until 9 February 2021 to reply.
Survey - 17.11.2020results are public with 462 cities and regions in 23 countries responding. The message is clear: 91% of respondents are in favour of making climate neutrality a long-term target for the Covenant’s participants and majorities say targets on adaptation to climate change should be strengthened and made compulsory.
The survey also covers other issues such as cooperation between different levels of governance, the kinds of local climate actions taken by governments and the need for a socially just energy transition. The findings will feed into repositioning the Covenant in the new context marked by the COVID crisis and ways to support municipalities and regions to fully participate in the recovery.
Conditionality of funds - 13.11.2020compromise on the conditionality of EU funds. In short, the European Union will be able to cut funding to any government – local, regional or national – found to be violating European values, such as respect for the rule of law and minority rights.
Significantly, the cuts will not affect final beneficiaries, but only the government concerned. If the EU blocks funding to a national government for example, the country's students, farmers, municipalities and regions would still be able to benefit from funds. Local and regional governments have long advocated for such a measure.
Under the new procedure, the funds will be cut on a proposal of the European Commission approved by a qualified majority of national governments in the Council. In the past, a single national government could veto such measures. The compromise must now be adopted formally by the Parliament and national ministers in Council.
Pierre Vander Auwera
Tel. : + 32 2 500 05 41
Skype : pierre_vda