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


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Governance and citizenship

Europe Day - 08.05.2020

Europe at 70: local leaders call for solidarity and cooperation
Seventy years ago, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman set the foundations of what would become the European Union. As we celebrate Europe Day, local and regional elected leaders together call for more solidarity and partnership in our continent.

In a video message, CEMR Secretary General Frédéric Vallier said that “the COVID-19 pandemic once again shows the need for European solidarity and a strong partnership between all levels of government.” He added: “Within each of our countries, local and regional governments are at the forefront of this crisis. Meanwhile, at the European level, the need for coordination between countries is obvious, but sadly enough it was lacking at the beginning of this crisis.”

Mayor of Karlsruhe Frank Mentrup also stressed the need for European unity: “Whether we are talking about the social framework, of financial or economic cooperation, the closing or opening of borders, or of healthcare, we obtain far better results working together than in isolation. Solidarity must be our guiding principle during and after this crisis.”

This pandemic is a threat to our European values”, said Mayor of Innsbruck Georg Willy. “The crisis that we are experiencing is testing our ability to resist nationalist and autocratic temptations. Let us persevere and show that our answer is collective and united.

Innsbruck Counsellor Christine Oppitz-Plörer concluded: “Cities, municipalities and regions need support from the others levels of government, because they are at the forefront and they have the solutions.

To discover other accounts from elected local and regional leaders, we invite you to participate in the online forum “Regions Regions and cities: vital for Europe's economic recovery” being organised on 9 may by the Committee of the Regions, on the occasion of this celebration of Europe. The President of CEMR and of the Emilia-Romagna Region, Stefano Bonaccini, as well as Commissioners Ferreira et Šuica, will be intervening in these discussions from 10:00 onwards.
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