“Imperative that we rethink Europe” was the message at CEMR 2016 Congress
At the closing plenary, he called on mayors to take part in the future of Europe, but pointed out that the reality of the European Union may be completely different in a few months should the referendum yield a Brexit vote in the United Kingdom. While recognising that proximity to citizens entails more responsibility for local authorities, there was also a frank assessment that there are many mayors and citizens that are becoming increasingly anti-European. He suggested that “local government has to rethink Europe because all the decisions at the EU level are implemented at the local level”.
Jan Olbrycht was speaking along with the Mayor of Johannesburg, Mpho Parks Tau, and the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Jean-Claude Frécon, who called to rethink the European project. Participants to the closing Plenary suggested that a new practice of local and European policy will re-invigorate a desire for Europe that “has dried up”.
The aim of the CEMR Congress was to discuss about the vision of Europe in 2030 around 7 major themes: Governance & Leadership; Economy & Finance; Business, Technology & Innovation; Society & Culture; Environment, Climate & Energy; Cooperation & Partnerships and finally the EU Integration.