“When EU policy is informed with local intelligence it is better placed to solve modern problems such as economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability and catalysing inclusive growth.”
Although cities are the closest political level to citizens and often better equipped to respond to the most pressing global urban challenges, there is a palpable disconnection between the EU decision-making and local realities. How can this gap between cities, its citizens and EU bodies be sealed and “Europe brought home”?
Considering the Commission’s mission to “bring Europe closer to home”, Eurocities and Friends of Europe have recently published a short discussion paper: Localising Europe. The European Commission should think and act locally by putting citizens and cities at the centre of policy making. We advocate for a better leveraging of local knowledge and citizen-centred approaches at EU level. The Conference on the Future of Europe can take inspiration from the experiences in cities of involving citizens in local public policy making.
Forget about disrupting or creating new institutions or treaties. Localising Europe is about using the infrastructure that is already in place, including networks representing cities such as Eurocities to ensure a better collaboration between cities, citizens and the EU institutions. To localise Europe, we propose action at three levels:
Firstly, the development of a European civic dialogue with city authorities to listen to and engage with people on issues of EU-wide concern. Secondly, the establishment of a systematic exchange between policymakers at city and EU level by creating working groups and a culture of EU officials “on the ground”. Thirdly, to start a genuine political dialogue between city mayors and EU leaders as a basis for shared ownership of EU’s strategic priorities and a new power sharing model in Europe.
Want to get to know the full details of the approach? Download the attachment below!