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


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Sustainable territorial and local development

Sustainable recovery programme - 26.06.2009

Local and regional government advocate sustainable recovery programmes

In the light of the current economic and financial crisis, local and regional governments advocate for green recovery programmes. This is one of the conclusions of the members of CEMR's working group on environment meeting.on 25 June 2009 in Brussels.

The members of the working group (30 participants from 15 countries) expressed their concern that the national programmes do not sufficiently take into account the need to invest into sustainable and environmental measures. Sustainable development has an economic and a social dimension and thus is a part of the solution to get out of the crisis.

However, it is important to raise awareness and communicate better with the citizens in order to change their behaviour and their habits, we have to take the public with us stressed Alison Hay, chair of CEMR's working group.

The Lisbon strategy

On the upcoming revision of the Lisbon strategy, the CEMR working group advocated its integration with the EU sustainable development strategy, highlighting their territorial dimension. This should lead to a close co-operation with the local and regional level, because EU strategies and legislation can often not be enforced without appropriate measures taken by local and regional government, as expressed Cor Lamers, mayor of Houten (The Netherlands) and CEMR rapporteur on sustainable development.

Sustainable development is also closely linked with climate mitigation and adaptation and should therefore not be dealt separately. Henning Jensen, mayor of Naetsved (Denmark) and CEMR rapporteur on climate insisted on the opportunity of green investments in times of economic downturn and called on national governments and the European Union to provide support, notably financial, to local and regional authorities to implement climate actions since investing in climate protection is also investing in the future.

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