Local Government Associations join forces for a more inclusive, sustainable and innovative Europe
On 4 July 2018, more than thirty national associations of local and regional governments joined the ongoing reflection on the Future of Europe, at a debate organised at the European Committee of the Regions.
The event dealt with three themes: an inclusive Europe; a sustainable Europe; and an innovative Europe. The outcomes from the discussions will be incorporated into a report on the Future of Europe that the Committee of the Regions will adopt at its October plenary.
Delivering a keynote address, the President of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, Stefano Bonaccini, commented on the European Parliament’s recent adoption of a resolution in plenary. He stated that the text “includes the request for CEMR to be permanently involved in the design of EU policy making, by way of a structured dialogue, where local and regional interests are concerned. This marks noteworthy steps towards the role of national associations in the institutional framework of the Union.”
On creating a more cohesive and inclusive Europe, many organisations seized the opportunity to discuss the issue of integration of migrants and refugees. The President of the Association of Dutch Municipalities, Jan Van Zanen, emphasised that “integration begins and ends within local communities”. Later, the Mayor of Mannheim, Peter Kurz, stated that “to make integration a reality in our communities, we must encourage and value the idea of living together in diversity.”
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