The European Commission (EC) and the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) closed the European Week of Regions and Cities in Brussels today, where they claimed the role of local authorities in the European construction and the continuity of the cohesion policy in the community budget.
"We have succeeded as a Commission in presenting Parliament and the Council with an ambitious and balanced budget of € 373 billion for cohesion policy, I hope we will succeed in keeping it that way and reaching an agreement during the Romanian presidency" of the Council, said the European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Cretu.
In addition, he trusted in an agreement before the next European elections of May 2019 so that the budget for the period 2021-2027 can be implemented "from January 1, 2021".
The curator addressed the participants of the European Week of the Regions and Cities, many of them representatives of local entities from all over the EU, to thank them for their "ideas and inspiration", without which, he assured, "they could not do many things "
Cretu urged participants to "remain inspirational" when they return to their local communities and asked them to have "a voice" and "shape the EU of the future".
The president of the European Committee of the Regions (CdR), Karl-Heinz Lambertz, stressed for his part the "incredible energy, creativity and true mobilization of the regions and cities by the European project".
"We have shown decision-makers in Europe our determination to have weight in a debate that concerns us all," he said.
Regarding cohesion policy, the Belgian politician said that it allows local governments "to face the challenges we face in our territories" and assured that it is a method that "works".
The European Committee of the Regions has been one of the most vocal European bodies in its defense of this budget item, for which the Commission has proposed a cut of 7% in the next Community multiannual financial framework.
The former Ambassador of the United States before the EU Anthony Gardner closed the gala with a review of the European cities that marked his diplomatic mission under the presidency of the Democrat Barack Obama (2009-2017) and his life before and after being an ambassador in places like Toledo , where he married a Spaniard, or Bruges and Florence, where he taught at the university.
"I have seen first-hand how European cities drive innovation, prosperity and cultural life, and I am amazed at the variety of these cities, which is a source of strength," Gardner said.
"At a time when central governments on both sides of the Atlantic are turning to a populist extreme, cities and regions can have a balancing effect," he concluded.