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

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Manifesto for the European elections

EU Manifesto - 15.02.2024

CEMR Advocates for Local and Regional Priorities in Manifesto Ahead of 2024 EU Elections
The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) is gearing up for the upcoming European Parliament (EP) elections in 2024 by releasing its Call to Action, addressing the unprecedented challenges faced by Europe and the world.
In a time when national governments grapple with complex issues, such as climate change, the revision of its competition model and geopolitical shifts, CEMR and its national associations underscore their unwavering commitment to fundamental values such as democratic governance, human rights, subsidiarity, and sustainability. CEMR emphasises the critical role of local and regional autonomy in the face of re-centralisation trends and attempts to diminish power at the local level.
Fabrizio Rossi, Secretary General of CEMR, highlighted the significance of this Manifesto, stating, "Now, more than ever, it is imperative that local and regional governments actively participate in shaping policies that address the pressing challenges of our time. The upcoming EP elections provide a crucial opportunity for collaboration and co-creation with the new Members of the European Parliament (MEPs)."
CEMR EU Manifesto Four Key Advocacy Points:
  1. Active Subsidiarity and Multi-level Governance Cooperation:
Subnational governments are responsible for over 50% of public investment, and the involvement of LRGs in implementing EU legislation at the national level is at least 70%. CEMR emphasises the need for greater participation of LRGs at any level of decision-making to ensure the effective deployment of EU legislation, especially concerning the Green Deal package.
  1. Systemic Approaches for Equitable, Inclusive, and Sustainable Societies:
LRGs are key enablers of the digital transition and, therefore, need sufficient public and private investment in digital services technologies, infrastructures, and skills to achieve this goal. CEMR urges the next European Parliament to be bold in promoting an enabling environment that supports the digital literacy of local public administrations.
  1. Integrated Territorial Approach:
Urban and rural areas should be treated as mutually complementary assets, creating a reinforcing relationship that defines the concept of the urban-rural continuum. To accomplish this synergy, the upcoming EU co-legislators should advocate for appointing a dedicated Commissioner for Territorial Development within the next European Commission, scheduled to assume office in autumn 2024.
  1. Open and Responsible Model of International Cooperation:
LRGs have attested to their commitment to fostering shared values and promoting openness within diverse communities through European partnerships, twinning arrangements, and city-to-city cooperation. This dedication extends to the context of EU enlargement. To amplify the impact of LRGs' territorial diplomacy, it is imperative for EU policymakers to establish ongoing dialogues and involve local elected representatives in high-level meetings, including those convened by the United Nations and European institutions.
As the clock ticks down to the EP elections, CEMR encourages political parties to incorporate these priorities into their programs and candidate lists. CEMR believes that only through collaborative efforts with Europe's future policymakers can meaningful outcomes be achieved on the ground.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Fiorella Lavorgna
Communication Officer
+ 32 2 500 05 35
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