The House of cities, municipalities and Regions was officially inaugurated on 6 June in Brussels by Margot Wallström, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of institutional relations and communication strategy, and Danuta Hübner, European Commissioner for Regional Policy. The house, located at the heart of the EU quarter, is home to the widest range of organisations* representing local and regional interests at European level.
Some 400 guests, including Members of the European Parliament, Members of the Committee of the Regions, ministers, mayors and representatives from the European Commission attended the opening event of the house.
“I have to thank you for the fact that you, so many associations of cities, municipalities and regions, have agreed to work here, together, under the same roof”, said the European Commission Vice-President Margot Wallström. “You are an inspiration for us all, because of your capacity to innovate and to make a difference on the ground”.
EU Commissioner Danuta Hübner also spoke to the guests. “This House is a unique place which mirrors the experience I have gained as an EU Commissioner travelling across Europe’s cities, municipalities and regions. This experience has helped me realise that Europe is not only about economic and institutional issues – it is also about feelings, passion and compassion”.
“The opening of the House of cities, municipalities and regions in Brussels is a massive step forward for Europe’s local and regional governments”, said Wim Deetman, Mayor of The Hague and representing the Council of European Municipalities and Regions and G4. “It is a clear political message: Europe’s cities, municipalities and regions are working together for a better European Union – closer to its citizens”.
Representing the city of Lyon, the vice president of EUROCITIES, Jean-Michel Daclin said: “Cities, municipal and regional authorities are increasingly recognised by European institutions and national governments. We are involved in discussions and negotiations with European institutions on all aspects of EU policy and legislation that have an impact on citizens. By coming together under the same roof, we wish to improve the visibility of local authorities in Europe, and to reinforce our cooperation on issues of interest to our citizens”.
The House of cities, municipalities and regions covers 4000 sq meters of brand new facilities. It hosts over 20 associations of local and regional governments, as well as the representation offices of eight European cities.
* Note: Located on Square de Meeûs 1, the House of cities, municipalities and regions is home to:
- the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR);
- EUROCITIES, the network of large European cities;
- The European Office of the G-4, an organisation bringing together the Dutch cities of Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht;
- The local and regional associations of Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden and the United Kingdom;
- The cities of Bourgas, Glasgow, Lyon, Plovdiv, Saint-Etienne, Tampere, Varna and Yalova.