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

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Recovery plans - 16.02.2021

CEMR meets with MEPs: local governments must be better involved in post-COVID recovery plans
The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) is the keystone of the European Union’s recovery strategy, providing €672.5 billion in loans and grants for national recovery plans. To this end, Member States must submit their national Recovery and Resilience plans (RRP) by 30 April 2021. But will local plans or delivering green and digital measures actually be enabled?

CEMR teamed up with the Committee of the Regions and sent a survey to its member associations to determine local and regional governments’ degree of involvement in these plans. The results are unequivocal: most Member States are failing to adequately inform and involve representatives of municipalities and regions in the process.

The issue of local governments’ exclusion from post-COVID national recovery plans is being brought to the attention of European lawmakers. CEMR and other local government representatives met with Greens/EFA MEPs last week to express our concerns. We notably shared the results of this joint study on local governments’ limited participation in national recovery plans.  “We cannot ensure a real recovery without the territories. This should be mandatory," said MEP Rosa D’Amato during the hearing organised by the MEPs on respect for the Partnership Principle and the national recovery plans.

While 19 member states have already submitted their national plans, CEMR is still pushing for RRF funds to be subject to the Partnership Principle – as is already the case for Cohesion funds – whereby local governments and other stakeholders must be involved in the drafting,implementation and monitoring of EU spending plans. We want local and regional governments to be involved in the recovery plans in a more structured way, particularly in the monitoring phase. Only if municipalities, regions and their associations are fully involved will we have a recovery that fully responds to challenges on the ground.

The MEPs are ready to follow up on this topic within the Parliament’s Committee on Regional Development (REGI) and in discussions with EU commissioners. CEMR will also raise its concerns at the highest level, as CEMR President Stefano Bonaccini will ask EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to remind  Member States of their obligations for transparent and inclusive programming processes.
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