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

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Governance and citizenship

EU presidency - 28.07.2009

CEMR calls upon Swedish presidency to work with EU's towns and regions
The President of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) Michael Häupl and its First Vice-President Anders Knape addressed a letter to the Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, expressing their views.on the programme of the Swedish Presidency of the EU.
'We are convinced that the major challenges confronting the EU, and which are addressed in the Swedish Presidency's programme, cannot be successfully met without cooperation with and support from Europe's local and regional governments."
CEMR shares the view that the economic crisis is the top priority on the political agenda of the coming months. However, we believe that the potential contribution of local and regional government in combating the economic crisis has not yet been fully understood or utilised. Municipalities, cities and regions are responsible for some two-thirds of public capital expenditure... but the European Economic Recovery Plan does not appear to take this into account.
CEMR has therefore, at its recent General Assembly, put forward the concept of a "Local and Regional New Deal" which would make use of local and regional authorities' experience and capacity to respond rapidly in a more coherent and integrated way.
Local and regional government have also been at the forefront on climate change - another priority of the Presidency. CEMR calls on the Swedish government to support its ambition for a new post-Kyoto international agreement, and the recognition of local and regional governments as key partners in tackling climate change.
With the debate on the future of the EU budget, which is expected to start this autumn, and the linked question on the future of the EU cohesion policy, CEMR reiterates its support to an ambitious, well-resourced European cohesion policy, which will be adapted to the new challenges Europe will be facing.

Finally, CEMR expresses its hope that the Swedish Presidency, together with the new European Parliament and the Commission and in the prospect of the Lisbon Treaty coming into operation, will fully respect the relevant points when preparing new proposals for policy or legislation. Most particularly, CEMR hopes that the explicit recognition of local and regional self-government and the extension of the subsidiarity principle to local and regional government will show its effects, because 'early and constant involvement of the relevant stakeholders and their representative organisations can help to achieve good results and to increase acceptance at the local and regional level".
CEMR's message to the Swedish Presidency of the EU is available in English and French.
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