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

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Governance and citizenship

Future of Europe - 15.06.2017

“Our common values should direct Europe’s future” claim Europe’s towns and regions
Mayors, local and regional leaders adopted their position to lay out the local and regional vision for the Europe we want to shape in the years to come.

This position, adopted by the members of the CEMR Policy Committee in Chios on 13 June, gives food for thought at an early stage of the on-going reflection process on Europe’s future.

Seen from a local and regional perspective, our core position could be placed under the motto “Governing together on the basis of shared, common values”. It expresses how urgent it is to reassert our commitment to a strong and united Europe based on common values such as democracy, decentralisation, solidarity and tolerance.

Local and regional governments have a legitimate voice in EU policy making and share a strong responsibility with all levels of government to work towards a Europe that can rise to the challenges we face. A strong, confident unified European voice, where all spheres of government play their part, can help set the bold political agenda that we so desperately need.” – President of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and Emilia-Romagna, Stefano Bonaccini.

He added: “As CEMR President, I call on EU institutions to engage in constructive dialogue with local governments, but I also call on local governments to feed these discussions with ideas and suggestions on how to better align the EU with local needs.”

Listen to citizens, treasure our diversity

There is a crisis of confidence in political leaders’ ability to adequately respond to the concerns and needs of the people. As the level of government closest to the citizens, towns and regions are the best placed to transport these concerns to the national and European level. They are core contributors to tackle challenges such as security, migration, climate, etc. Therefore, an active role must be ensured for local and regional governments in the development and implementation of relevant policies.

Promoting exchanges between citizens via the Europe for Citizens and Erasmus programmes contribute to the awareness of belonging to a European community with rich cultural heritage, history, traditions and political systems. Recognising our diversity as a treasure and respecting the differences can help restore the faith of citizens in our European project.

Getting Europe back on its feet

As towns and regions, we are stretching out our hand to EU decision makers. In this context, we will be focusing our views on the future of Europe at the occasion of the European Week of Regions and Cities that will take place in October. At this occasion, CEMR is organising a workshop: “Getting Europe back on its feet”.

This workshop will present a diverse snapshot of views and ideas on what is needed to build strong, inclusive, diverse, sustainable and resilient communities. Our discussions promise to be lively, engaging and interactive. Come along and be part of the conversation!
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