With elections to the European Parliament due in May, local and regional governments have adopted a Manifesto outlining nine proposals for an EU that puts a higher priority its citizens, cities, municipalities and regions.
The Manifesto was adopted by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and its 57 associations of local and regional governments. The 24-page document covers many topical issues, ranging from employment and social priorities to public services and cohesion.
CEMR and its member associations also produced a introduction video to the Manifesto. It is addressed to the European institutions and proposes a way forward calling for closer collaboration among all elected represenattives – local, national and European – to ensure that EU policies meet the needs of the citizens.
The nine local and regional governments’ proposals:
- Continue prioritising youth employment. Support specific and transitory programmes of youth work integration, in particular, through the EU Starter proposal. Strengthen the role of education as well as investment in innovation, R&D and sectors of high added value. Section 1 of the Manifesto, page 9
- Monitor the implementation of the structural funds thoroughly to achieve better territorial cohesion, in particular the application of the Partnership Principle and the Code of Conduct. Guarantee the strengthening of the subsidiarity principle and create a subsidiarity culture among the different levels of governance. Section 2 of the Manifesto, page 11
- Opt for lighter and simpler regulation, focusing on common agreed objectives rather than too detailed provisions, provide transparency when opting for the fast track procedure. Introduction, page 7
- Respect the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, the wide discretion of the national, regional and local authorities in organising services of general economic interest, and to seek a balance between the requirements of the competitive and the social dimension of the “highly competitive EU social market economy. Section 3 of the Manifesto, page 12
- Define ambitious objectives for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and develop renewable energy and energy efficiency by 2030. Respect the competences of local and regional authorities in the field of mobility in any EU initiative, to support municipalities and regions to implement sustainable mobility policies. Section 4 of the Manifesto, page 14
- Increase the Europe for Citizens Programme budget until the symbolic “1 euro per citizen” in order to enhance the ownership of the European Union citizenship, making special effort to reach the citizens in risk of exclusion and to support initiatives towards gender equality and the integration of migrants. Support local and regional authorities by providing legislative answers to fight against discrimination, especially that of the Roma community. Sections 5, 6 and 7 of the Manifesto, pages 16, 18 and 19
- Stand for deeper integration and democratic legitimacy for the European Union AND initiate a Convention in order to draft a Fundamental Law of the European Union. Section 8 of the Manifesto, page 20
- Support further enlargement of the European Union and mediate deeper implication of all levels of local and regional authorities in the negotiation process. Section 9 of the Manifesto, page 21
- Support integrated global approaches, particularly in cooperation with partners in the Global South, to contribute to a more secure, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous global village. Section 10 of the Manifesto, page 22
Read the Manifesto: