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News in brief
NALAS - 09.11.2020
The state of local finances in southeast EuropeThe Network of Associations of Local Authorities of South-East Europe (NALAS) has just published “Local Government Finance Indicators in South East Europe”. The second edition provides a wealth of statistical data on the following topics:
- The size and structure of local governments in southeast Europe
- Regional comparisons on the status and development of national and local government finance in 2019
- Patterns and trends of national and local government revenues and expenditures for the period 2006-2019 in each economy
TWINT 2020 - 05.11.2020
Take part in the Online Town Twinning Summit!The International Online Town Twinning Summit (TWINT) is taking place on 12 and 13 November. This great event will bring together local authorities, policymakers, international networks, European associations of local authorities, and many more players to look for new ways to create sustainable cities.
You can find the agenda and more information on the event website and register with this online form.
Coming up... - 04.11.2020
CEMR and Committee of the Regions join forces for a local recoveryThe European Union has agreed to raise an unprecedented €750 billion to finance the economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19. National governments will each submit Recovery and Resilience Plans detailing how they want to spend these EU funds, but questions remain: Will towns and regions be involved in preparing these plans? Will local needs be overlooked?
That’s why CEMR and the Committee of the Regions are joining forces to ensure that municipalities, regions and their associations can make their voice heard in the drafting of the national plans using the EU recovery funds. Several actions are being planned including a survey of local governments and their associations on their involvement in national recovery plans, a detailed study and several events. These feed into both national and European advocacy efforts. Stay tuned!
Fit for the Future - 04.11.2020
CEMR expert appointed to top advisory group on improving EU legislationCEMR’s Angela Poth-Mögele has been appointed to represent local governments on the European Commission’s Fit for the Future Platform (F4F). The Platform is a group of high-level experts that will help the Commission simplify EU laws and reduce related unnecessary costs. F4F will examine whether existing laws can achieve their objectives efficiently as Europe tackles new challenges such as digitalisation.
CEMR will participate in the Platform’s Stakeholder Group, which represents civil society. This will also be an opportunity for CEMR to be informed about and influence lawmaking at a very early stage. F4F’s first meeting is expected to take place in mid-November and will be chaired by EU Commission Vice-President for Inter-Institutional Relations Maroš Šefčovič.
Green finance - 29.10.2020
A global guide to climate financeClimate Chance, an association promoting the role of local government and civil society in fighting climate change, has just published the third edition of its Global Synthesis Report on Climate Finance. The report analyses recent trends on climate finance with numerous charts and figures, including the expansion of green bonds and Europe’s leading position.
Discover the full report and the four-page summary for decisionmakers.
Green Leaf and Green Capital - 09.10.2020
Grenoble, Lappeenranta and Gabrovo win European green city awardsThe beautiful city of Grenoble will be Europe’s Green Capital for 2022. The French Alpine city won the award thanks to its ambitious climate and energy policies: carbon emissions will be reduced by 50% by 2030 and 100% of households’ energy needs will be provided by renewables by 2022.
The cities of Lappeenranta (Finland) and Gabrovo (Bulgaria) won the 2021 European Green Leaf Award for 2021, which is given to cities with less than 100,000 inhabitants. Lappeenranta aims to become climate-neutral by 2030, while Gabrovo has made great gains increasing energy efficiency and use of clean technologies. By recognising cities’ environmental efforts, the awards give them visibility and a boost to their territorial attractiveness.
Just Transition Fund - 17.09.2020
EU Parliament votes €25 billion to green local economiesThe European Parliament has voted to dedicate €25 billion for the Just Transition Fund (JTF). This new EU financial instrument will invest in regions to help them decarbonise their economies. A range of projects would be eligible for funding and the EU would co-finance up to 85% of the cost.
By contrast, the European Commission had proposed €11 billion and national governments in the Council a mere €7.5 billion. The Parliament and Council must now come to a compromise for the Fund to be created.
Have your say - 11.09.2020
What do cities and regions think of EU trade policy?The European Commission is investigating how well it engages civil society in EU trade policy and how national and local authorities organise trade dialogues at their level. The EU executive hopes to improve transparency and citizen dialogue in the making of trade policy.
This is an opportunity for cities and regions to have their say. Is EU trade policymaking sufficiently transparent? Are national and local concerns sufficiently taken into account by the European Commission? How can the process be improved?
To share your views, please complete the Commission’s brief survey, available in 22 languages.
Fair wages - 04.09.2020
Social partners' ability to negotiate wages should not be underminedThe European Commission is considering introducing legislation to ensure fair minimum wages across the Union. While the aim is laudable, CEMR has grave concerns about the Commission’s approach, which have been shared with the EU executive as part of its official consultation.
As employers, local governments fear that the proposed legislation would infringe on the autonomy of social partners to negotiate wages and could even create a downward convergence of wages around the minimum standards.
For more information, please consult CEMR’s full response to consultation.
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