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

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Governance and citizenship

State of the European Union - 13.09.2018

Why local governments have mixed feelings about Juncker’s SOTEU speech
The State of the European Union, the yearly speech given by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on 12 September, was awaited with great excitement. Among other issues, he was expected to present the conclusions of the taskforce on subsidiarity, which is in charge of finding ways to better involve local and regional governments in EU policy making. However, this did not happen.

Reacting to Juncker's speech, President of CEMR and of the region of Emilia Romagna, Stefano Bonaccini, stated the following:

President Juncker was absolutely right to focus on the global dimension of the great challenges of our time: migration, climate change and digitalisation. However, we regret that, once again, the role of towns and regions, who are fundamental allies to address these issues, was not mentioned. None of those challenges will be overcome without their support .

It is crucial not to lose sight of this, especially concerning migration: towns and regions are too often left alone to host and integrate migrants on a day-to-day basis. Their access to EU funding on migration and integration must come into place."

He added: "It is also most disappointing that President Juncker did not present the conclusions of the taskforce on subsidiarity, despite this being expected. This taskforce’s mission is to find how to involve cities, municipalities and regions in EU policy making: an essential task for the future development of our Union.”

His speech may be over, but there are still other ways for President Juncker to show he recognises the vital role local governments have to play. We await the conclusions of the taskforce with much enthusiasm.
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