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

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News in brief

  • Cohesion policy - 30.11.2016

    Expert group meeting: all territories need simplified access to EU funding
    How can we find solutions to simplify access and management of EU funding for all towns and regions after 2020? This important issue was addressed during the meeting of CEMR’s expert group on territorial cohesion on 29 November, where they discussed the future of cohesion policy after 2020. Among others, the director general of the Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO), Marc Lemaître, and DG REGIO head of unit, Peter Berkowitz, were present.

    For CEMR, the main issue is that all territories need to have simplified access to European structural and investment funds – whether they are urban or rural. EU funds do exist. The problem is that the current application procedures are so complicated that many towns and regions end up not having access – even though they would be entitled to these funds. The next expert group meeting will take place in February, and we are confident we will find a common position.
  • EU affairs - 29.11.2016

    President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing discusses Europe with CEMR
    Former president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing met CEMR secretary general Frédéric Vallier in Paris today. In the agenda was a discussion on the future of Europe, as well as his vision for Europe’s towns and regions in this future.

    President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing wished to send a message to young generations concerning the European project: “take the power!”

    Valéry Giscard d’Estaing held the position of CEMR president from 1997 to 2004.
  • Executive Bureau - 25.11.2016

    Paris hosts CEMR Executive Bureau
    CEMR’s Executive Bureau met in Paris from 21 to 22 November. Its members prepared the Policy Committee meeting that will take place in Maastricht from 12 to 13 December.

    Two key debates will be taking place in Maastricht: one on gender equality and one on the future of Europe, at the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Maastricht treaty.
  • Smart Cities - 22.11.2016

    Citizen Engagement for Inclusive Smart Cities – keynote speech by CEMR secretary general
    Is the engagement of citizens the key to achieving inclusive and smart cities? A conference on the matter is taking place on 23 November in Brussels, where CEMR secretary general, Frédéric Vallier, will be a keynote speaker. He will be speaking at the panel discussion on “Involving citizens from consultation to empowerment”.

    Organised by EIP-SCC, ICLEI and ERRIN, this conference will take place at the Dutch Permanent Representation in Brussels.
  • Circular economy - 22.11.2016

    European Week for Waste Reduction: local governments' 6 proposals
    This week is a very important week for our towns and regions’ environment: it is the European Week for Waste Reduction (#EWWR2016).

    Back in June, CEMR, EUROCITIES and Municipal Waste Europe addressed the European Parliament so that they would take towns and regions’ needs into account for the future directive on waste and landfill. We put forth 6 proposals for better local waste management in Europe. Now, we are using this week as an opportunity to share our messages once more.
    1. Broaden the definition of municipal waste to make the implementation of waste policies easier
    2. Partnerships between waste producers and local governments need to make clear that all waste costs are covered (and not just “optimised costs”, like the current directives says)
    3. To target other sectors than municipal waste in EU waste legislation, since 90% of waste in Europe is not municipal!
    4. Increase funding availability for towns and cities
    5. Create knowledge platforms to enable the exchange of best practices for a transition towards a circular economy
    6. Set up waste prevention measures
  • COP22 - 16.11.2016

    How to finance local actions: Get the answers during our event on 17 November
    Most of the investments to implement climate actions will be undertaken by towns and regions, but they often lack the necessary financial means.  
    On 17 November, CEMR, PLATFORMA and further partners including UCLG, are organising a session to discuss opportunities for funding for local government while involving other stakeholders (civil society, research, etc.).
    Follow the event live online from 16h45 to 18h15 (Brussels time 17h45-19h15).
    Speakers will include:
    • Mohammed Sadiki, Mayor of Rabat
    • Wael Hmaidan, Director of CAN-International Secretariat
    • Claire Charbit, Deputy Head of the Regional Development Policy Division of the Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate, OECD
    • Pierre Ducret, I4CE President and Special Advisor for climate change, Caisse des Dépôts Group
    • André Pouilles, Directeur du Département des Appuis Transversaux, Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
    • Frédéric Vallier, CEMR secretary general
  • Local Autonomy - 07.11.2016

    Regionalisation, cooperation, metropolitanisation: OLA’s conference newsletter is out
    Interested in regionalisation, metropolitanisation or intermunicipal cooperation? Discover the main findings of the conference organised by OLA, the Observatory for Local Autonomy, on these issues.

    The conference, coorganised by CEMR, took place from 30 June to 2 July 2016. The findings of the conference are available in the newsletter in English and in French.
  • CEMR presidency - 05.11.2016

    President De la Serna joins Spanish government
    The mayor of Santander and CEMR president, Iñigo De la Serna, has joined the Spanish government as Minister for Public Works and Transport. He was nominated on 4 November 2016.

    Who will be the next CEMR President? She or he will be elected in Maastricht on 12 December 2016 by the CEMR Policy Committee, which is made up of over 170 local and regional elected representatives, nominated by national member associations and national sections of CEMR.

    We wish Mr De la Serna great success in his new mission as Minister for Public Works and Transport; a field in which local and regional governments’ implication is of the utmost importance.
  • World Mayor 2016 - 27.10.2016

    15 refugee-friendly mayors shortlisted for World Mayor Prize
    The names of the 15 nominees shortlisted for the 2016 World Mayor Prize have now been made public. These are 15 mayors who, with their communities, “have made exceptional efforts to welcome refugees and integrate migrants.”

    Want to have your say on who will be the next World Mayor Prize winner? You can express your support to the mayor of your choice until the middle of December 2016, and the winner will be announced by the end of January 2017.


Pierre Vander Auwera
Adviser – Communication

Email :
Tel. : + 32 2 500 05 41
Skype : pierre_vda
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