On Thursday 4 June, the European Green Party, along with mayors and deputy mayors from cities across Europe, published an open letter calling on Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, to ensure the role of cities, urban areas, and local authorities is fully recognised and to establish direct tailored funding streams through the next Multiannual Financial Framework.
Cities are not only a key link in the European democratic chain, but their prerogatives and actions have also made them a pivotal actor during the fight against coronavirus. In times of democratic backsliding, supporting the capacity of cities to defend and uphold democratic and European values, as well as empowering them to be a pivotal actor in the recovery and in the fight against the climate crisis, is an invaluable investment.
Michal Berg, committee member of the European Green Party comments:
“Democratic resistance to governments with authoritarian tendencies comes from the ground up. It all starts at the local level, but local actors are often hindered in their efforts to defend democracy by their national government. Europe hasn’t managed to pass sanctions against democratic backsliding, but it can easily support democratic values through direct targeted funding for the local level.”
Thomas Waitz, co-chair of the European Green Party and MEP comments:
“The role of cities, municipalities and the local level has been absolutely crucial during the coronavirus crisis. They are the democratic institutions closest to the citizens. They know the needs of citizens, as well as their worries and demands. Direct EU funds to cities are EU funds for the real needs of citizens! The EU must allow and facilitate funding access for cities in the future.
The EU must recognise that cities also have an instrumental role to play during the recovery phase and to tackle the challenges ahead of us, in particular the climate crisis.”
In line with the call of this letter, the Visegrád capital cities elaborated a proposal for strengthened EU financing strands. It will be publicly presented and discussed in the form of a webinar organised by the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament on Wednesday 10 June. More information here.
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