The Conference on the Future of Europe represents a milestone opportunity to strengthen democracy in Europe at a time of record high demand by citizens to have their voices taken into account for the future of Europe. Cities will contribute to its activities building on the strong experience they have in engaging citizens to co-create public policies.
The Conference should also be an opportunity to rethink the relationship between Europe and local authorities and to re-assess the principle of subsidiarity in the context of Next Generation EU and the National Recovery Plans. Cities, hardly hit by the pandemic, should be the vanguard of a new approach in Europe that puts place and people at the heart of political thinking – a new European localism. New European localism is about improving EU policymaking by harnessing local intelligence to strengthen effectiveness, credibility and trust in the EU.
While most of the investments and innovative solutions to build a sustainable and resilient recovery are expected to start from local economies, cities have not yet been sufficiently involved in the development of their respective national recovery plans. This stands in opposition to a green and social agenda at EU level, in which the involvement of cities is recognized and considered essential to bring forward the objectives of the EU Green Deal, to make the digital transition effective and to ensure no one is left behind.
Watch the discussion here: