European towns and cities are waiting for the EU long-term budget
The URBAN Intergroup held an online seminar on the “Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 and Next Generation EU – State of play. What is at stake for local and regional authorities?” on Friday November 27th between 9:00 and 11:00.
Fabienne Keller, Vice-President of the URBAN Intergroup, welcomed all the participants by reminding that the MFF negotiations is a crucial moment because we define the EU budget for the next seven years. Currently it is even more crucial due to the crises that we are facing and an unprecedent Recovery Fund that should help European economies to recover. “Communities and cities in Europe expect a lot from European solidarity. We are aware that for example difficult neighbourhoods in our cities are particularly affected by the health crises. Pre-existed precariousness had exacerbated, such as difficulties in access to employment, housing or education. We must assure that local authorities, cities will benefit from European solidarity through the EU budget and recovery plan!” – she added.
Andreas Schieder, Vice-President of the URBAN Intergroup, in his introductory remarks underlined some elements of the MFF and Recover package. He highlighted the importance of the Recover and Resilience Facility, which aim is to give the answer to social and economic consequences of the COVID crises. He mentioned as well the rule of law mechanism, which is currently the most discussed issue, and the idea on new own resources of the EU budget.
“We all know that urban areas are in a specific situation. Economic and social crises are particularly effecting urban areas and local economies. Therefore, the EU funding is extremely important to support cities in facing all the challenges. Today, cultural industry or truism are strongly effected by lockdown and that is why Recovery and Resilience funding is so needed” he insisted.
Urban Agenda for the EU Partnerships in the spotlight – online event
The Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and the European Urban Knowledge Network (EUKN) EGTC in cooperation with the URBAN Intergroup organised the online event “Urban Agenda for the EU Partnerships in the spotlight” on 13 October 2020.
The key objective of this seminar was to promote among a broader audience the achievements of the Partnerships working within the URBAN Agenda.
Jan Olbrycht, as President of the URBAN Intergroup, recalled in his welcome speech the origins of the Pact of Amsterdam and the idea of the Urban Agenda for the EU. The URBAN Intergroup strongly supported the Urban Agenda and managed to get €2.5 million for the work of its Secretariat. Moreover, he underlined how the working method of partnerships was and is still very innovative by gathering at the same table partners from the different levels of governance. At the end of his reflection, he warned the audience that the achievements of the partnerships should be constantly monitored and transferred into different policy fields in order not to waste the all energy and the work accomplished by the members of the partnerships. The broad reflection is therefore needed to see how to successfully transfer the Urban Agenda for the EU to the next phase starting from 2021 with the European Urban Initiative, as a broader concept.
Throughout the panel discussion, representatives of the Partnerships and stakeholders have exchanged their ideas, especially on how to achieve better regulation, how to develop actions for the European Green Deal and, finally, how to continue the multi-level Partnership approach in the future.
Fabienne Keller, Vice-president of the URBAN Intergroup, and former mayor of Strasbourg underlined during the discussion the aspect of the better regulation and the necessity to change the paradigm, from a vertical approach to a more transversal approach. The respect of different competences and the added value of the multilevel governance have been mentioned as well.
The event was an official side event of the 2020 European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC).
The recording of the event can be watched on YouTube.