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Local & regional governments

Newsletter - March 2021

Council of European Municipalities and Regions

Local and regional governments' view
on European affairs

  fre  eng

- Recovery and resilience plans -

Cohesion Alliance

EU-wide coalition urges national governments to involve regions and cities in the preparation of post-COVID recovery plans and to avoid a "vaccine divide" in Europe

On the eve of the European Council meeting, the #Cohesion Alliance – an EU-wide alliance of 12,000 signatories advocating for a stronger cohesion policy after 2020 – calls upon member states to work in partnership with local and regional governments in the design, implementation and governance of national recovery and resilience plans. The Cohesion Alliance also urges national parliaments to ratify the decision on own resources as soon as possible, allowing the European Commission to borrow up to EUR 750 billion on the capital markets to address the negative effects of the COVID-19 crisis. Moreover, the Alliance warns EU leaders against the risk of a competition for vaccines, as this would increase inequalities between European regions, cities and villages.  

[ Read more ]

- EU Strategy for the rights of persons with disabilities -

Union of Equality

Local governments’ work on disability rights... and how we can go further!

It’s another milestone moment in the Von der Leyen Commission’s drive to build a genuine Union of Equality for Europe! The EU executive’s Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030 was officially presented on Wednesday, 3 March, outlining the actions it will take to guarantee the rights and equal opportunities of people with disabilities.

The new EU Strategy supports the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD), which has been signed by all EU countries. The Convention mandates for instance that people with disabilities be able to live independently and have access to public transport, services and information without hindrance.

[ Read more ]

- Interview with... -

Mayor of Levadia Ioannis Tagalegas

“Inclusion is a team sport!”

Levadia is a small Greek municipality, known as a friendly city for newcomers. Currently, they provide accommodation for around 500 refugees and asylum seekers. Together with the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece (KEDE), Levadia is part of the IncluCities project to improve their integration practices.

Ioannis D. Tagalegas, a medical doctor and former field athlete, became the mayor of Levadia in 2019. Since then, he’s been competing to tackle global issues at local level.


[ Read more ]

- European asylum policy -


EU Vice-President Schinas to local leaders: “We need frontline soldiers like you!”

In recent years, Europe has faced the most serious migratory crisis since World War II. Immigration is a complex issue which has had a profound local impact in countless municipalities and regions.
That is why CEMR’s Policy Committee met on Thursday (25 February) with the EU Commission vice-president responsible for migration, Margaritis Schinas, to discuss the local realities of immigration, how this phenomenon can best be managed and how EU policies can be most supportive. “Today Europe does not have a common position - we only have a patchwork of solutions,” said Schinas.


[ Read more ]

- Waste -

Circular economy action plan

EU Parliament adopts position on circular economy: key takeaways for local governments

The promotion of short local value chains, support for local governments to develop circularity hubs and the sharing of expertise on waste management: these are some of the measures recommended by the European Parliament to reduce waste production and achieve the transition to a circular economy.

Members of the European Parliament adopted on Wednesday (10 February 2021) its opinion report on the new EU action plan for a circular economy, launched in March 2020 by the European Commission. Its rapporteur, the Dutchman Jan Huitema, has passed an ambitious report calling for better management of resources and reducing environmental impact, all the while promoting digital solutions.


[ Read more ]

- Vision for the long-term future of rural areas -

Rural development

How to revitalise Europe’s countryside

It’s a common pattern: many of Europe’s rural areas are in demographic decline as a result of aging and youth emigration towards urban centres. In many cases, the desertification of the countryside and the decline of public services are driving alienation and political discontent across our continent.

It doesn’t have to be this way. At a time when the European Commission is preparing its vision for the long-term future of rural areas, CEMR wants to make the case for how we can restore vibrancy to the countryside. This is a matter of rights as well as prosperity: all citizens, wherever they live, should enjoy a similar quality of life and equal opportunities.


[ Read more ]

- International partnerships -


​‘NDICI’, a landmark deal for decentralised cooperation

This is a major step forward. The consultation of towns, regions and their associations in the elaboration of EU development programmes should soon become mandatory. That’s what stands out in a provisional agreement on the EU’s new financing instrument for international development (NDICI).

The text stems from a compromise reached by the Council and MEPs (AFET and DEVE committees), on 17-18 March. It confirms the deal made in December. The new Instrument, to be renamed "Global Europe", highlights the need to strengthen the role of local and regional governments “as actors of development”. What’s more, support to local authorities in partner countries should amount to at least €500 million.


[ Read more ]

- Library More items -

Recovery and resilience plans

The involvement of municipalities, cities and regions


Long-term vision for rural areas

Making “no one left behind” a reality


CEMR's Survey on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

A Snapshot of Local and Regional Europe

- Upcoming events -
May 2021
  .  15th anniversary of the European Charter for Equality between women and men in local life
31 May - 4 June
  .  European Green Week
15 to 16 June
  .  European Development Days
Location : Online
11 to 14 October
  .  European week of regions and cities
Location : Online


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