What would a Europe of cities look like? If the calls of cities at the Eurocities 2021 annual conference in Leipzig are anything to go by, it would be one of greater climate ambition, firm solidarity across the bloc, and a border policy more in line with Europe’s basic principles.
At the conference, cities made it clear that they have more ambitious targets than national governments, and in some cases even than the EU – and, just as importantly, it is on the ground in cities that real change will allow these targets to be met. That’s why Dario Nardella, Florence Mayor and President of Eurocities has prepared a message in a bottle to the COP in Glasgow, demanding that world leaders join cities in the move towards real and sustainable change.
While national governments remain indecisive about how to tackle Europe’s illiberal regimes, cities have expressed unconditional solidarity across borders, with Leipzig Mayor Burkhard Jung speaking on behalf of other Eurocities’ cities with Aleksandra Dulkiewicz mayor of Gdansk, one of Poland’s urban bastions of European values.
European values are not just under threat from her illiberal regimes. Many national and European policies are currently failing to live up to the high standards set out in the EU’s core goals. Mayor Jung spoke out at Eurocities2021 with a clear message for EU administrations: Keep Europe’s borders open.