European Committee of the Regions launches a new working group to ensure that cities
and regions can bring the European Green Deal off the ground with concrete
projects and direct funding to local and regional authorities
European Committee of the Regions has today launched the ‘Green Deal Going Local’
working group.Composed of 13 local
and regional elected representatives, its objective is to guarantee that EU
cities and regions are directly involved in the definition, implementation and
assessment of the numerous initiatives under the European Green Deal, the EU’s
sustainable growth strategy to reach climate-neutrality by 2050.
It is now time to invest together and accelerate the transition towards a clean, sustainable and carbon-neutral economy. Through the EU’s recovery package and the European Green Deal, we must empower and finance cities and regions to build resilience and bounce back from the COVID-19 crisis. This is the main message coming from the first meeting of the ‘Green Deal Going Local’ working group. The working group starts its works as the European Commission has put on the table a new recovery instrument of €750 billion, and has reinforced climate-related elements in the proposed long-term budget of €1,100 billion for 2021-2027. It now needs the approval of the EU’s Member States and of the European Parliament.
Juan Espadas (ES/PES), Mayor of Seville and Chair of the working group, said: “The world is facing the most severe recession in living memory, but we must not forget that the climate challenge has not gone away. The European Green Deal is the best tool we have to tackle both crises together. It is the opportunity to invest in clean public transport, renewable energy, affordable insulated housing, sustainable agriculture, and the protection of biodiversity. It is a positive revolution but it cannot be achieved without the full involvement of cities and regions and European support. As Chair of the Working Group, I want to ensure that our demands are heard loud and clear.”
Intervening during the ‘green recovery’ debate, MEP Aurore Lalucq (FR/S&D), co-president of the Green New Deal Intergroup in the European Parliament, said: “The Green Deal before the COVID-19 crisis cannot be the same after the crisis. Today, we need more ambition, a higher EU budget and greater investments. The Green Deal is the solution to the economic crisis but also the opportunity to bring together environmental and social justice. The Green Deal is the right channel to implement an ambitious employment policy and give each European citizen a decent job and a decent pay. To succeed, we must mobilise all actors at the national but also European and local levels. For that purpose, the dialogue between European institutions and local governments and between the European Parliament’s Green New Deal Intergroup and the European Committee of Regions is essential.”
Addressing the members of the working group, Diederik Samsom, Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the European Green Deal, said: “We are committed to ensure that the Green Deal does go local. The COVID-19 crisis asks us to adapt to a new reality but also to prioritise and accelerate the implementation of those Green Deal elements that directly contribute to growth and jobs, for instance, the ‘renovation wave’, the circular economy and greening our cities and urban transport. No transition will succeed if it is not solidly anchored in European cities and regions. We have to work together to deliver for the Europeans.”
The ‘Green Deal Going Local’ working group has the goal of ensuring that both the European Green Deal and the EU’s recovery strategy actually translate into tangible projects and direct funding for local and regional authorities. The working group has three specific objectives:
• To bring together the views of cities and regions in the CoR on the numerous policy initiatives under the European Green Deal, and make sure that their voice is heard.
• To facilitate EU institutions working together in order to place cities and regions at the heart of policies promoting carbon-neutrality.
• To convey the challenges that local and regional authorities face while implementing the green transition locally and to highlight their achievements and best practices, so as to facilitate their replication across the European Union.
- Juan Espadas (ES/PES), Mayor of Seville (Chair)
- Roby Biwer (LU/PES), Member of Bettembourg Municipal county
- Manuela Bora (IT/PES), Member of Marche Regional Council and Regional Minister (replaced in today’s meeting by Donatella Porzi (IT/PES), Regional Councillor for the Region of Umbria)
- Isabelle Boudineau (FR/PES), Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, Vice-President, European and International Affairs
- Vincent Chauvet (FR/Renew Europe), Mayor of Autun (Saône-et-Loire department)
- József Kóbor (HU/EA), Member of the Local Government of Pécs
- Markku Markkula (FI/EPP), Member of Espoo City Council
- Michaely (IE/EPP), Member of Tipperary County Council
- Ricardo Rio (PT/EPP), Mayor of Braga
- Stelpstra Tjisse (NL/ECR), Member of the Council of the Province of Drenthe
- Mirja Vehkaperä (FI/Renew Europe), Member of Oulu City Council
- oß (DE/The Greens), Member of Schleswig-Holstein State Parliament
- Hanna Zdanowska (PL/EPP), President of Łodź
The working group will meet on a regular basis and prepare contributions and recommendations to relevant commissions. It will also feed CoR plenary sessions, starting at the next 1-2 July plenary with a debate on ‘Regions and Cities for Green Recovery’, with the participation of MEP and Chairman of the European Parliament’s ENVI committee Pascal Canfin. Two other debates are expected during the July plenary: one on the future multiannual financial framework (MFF) in light of the COVID-19 crisis recovery with Commissioner Johannes Hahn and one on the economic aspects of the COVID-19 recovery with Commissioner Thierry Breton.
Click here to reach the new web portal ‘Green Deal Going Local’.
Read here the Green Deal resolution adopted by the European Committee of the Regions in December 2019.
Green Deal rapporteurs on the spotlight: you can now read our new series of interviews here.
The European Green Deal is the roadmap for making the EU’s economy sustainable. It encompasses a new sustainable growth strategy along with a set of legislative measures, policy actions and funding mechanisms. It has a triple objective: that there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050, that economic growth is decoupled from resource use, and that no person and no place is left behind (European Commission ) The scope of the European Green Deal includes the following are
• Sustainable energy
• Circular economy
• Clean transport
• Nature & biodiversity
• Food & agriculture
• Green finance
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