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

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News in brief

  • Green Leaf and Green Capital - 09.10.2020

    Grenoble, Lappeenranta and Gabrovo win European green city awards
    The beautiful city of Grenoble will be Europe’s Green Capital for 2022. The French Alpine city won the award thanks to its ambitious climate and energy policies: carbon emissions will be reduced by 50% by 2030 and 100% of households’ energy needs will be provided by renewables by 2022.

    The cities of Lappeenranta (Finland) and Gabrovo (Bulgaria) won the 2021 European Green Leaf Award for 2021, which is given to cities with less than 100,000 inhabitants. Lappeenranta aims to become climate-neutral by 2030, while Gabrovo has made great gains increasing energy efficiency and use of clean technologies. By recognising cities’ environmental efforts, the awards give them visibility and a boost to their territorial attractiveness.
  • Just Transition Fund - 17.09.2020

    EU Parliament votes €25 billion to green local economies
    The European Parliament has voted to dedicate €25 billion for the Just Transition Fund (JTF). This new EU financial instrument will invest in regions to help them decarbonise their economies. A range of projects would be eligible for funding and the EU would co-finance up to 85% of the cost.

    By contrast, the European Commission had proposed €11 billion and national governments in the Council a mere €7.5 billion. The Parliament and Council must now come to a compromise for the Fund to be created.
  • Have your say - 11.09.2020

    What do cities and regions think of EU trade policy?
    The European Commission is investigating how well it engages civil society in EU trade policy and how national and local authorities organise trade dialogues at their level. The EU executive hopes to improve transparency and citizen dialogue in the making of trade policy.

    This is an opportunity for cities and regions to have their say. Is EU trade policymaking sufficiently transparent? Are national and local concerns sufficiently taken into account by the European Commission? How can the process be improved?

    To share your views, please complete the Commission’s brief survey, available in 22 languages.
  • 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.
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