echoes, the CoR PES Group Newsletter


Nr 17 Newsletter of the PES Group
in the European Committee of the Regions
Feb. 2017

Adding a pillar to an existing building – to better hold it up - requires a lot of demolishing. The alternative is using just a prop, which is a temporary and unsafe solution. This is exactly what the European construction does not need in its current state, which rather calls for earthquake engineering.


Dear friends,
We are facing, not just as Europeans but also as a world-community, possibly one of the biggest and most dangerous challenges that has confronted us, certainly in my lifetime. What we thought to be strong and universally shared principles of our 'Western' world are now being openly called into question by the elected leader of one of the most important countries…


Fighting populism starts with speaking up at local level
Addressing PES Group members at their Group meeting, Tanja Fajon, MEP, underlined that progressive local and regional politicians, who are well anchored at grass-root level, can play a leading role in combatting the xenophobic narrative, which is currently rising in many EU countries.


Migration to be the absolute priority of the Maltese Presidency
Taking the floor at the CoR's plenary session, Ian Borg, MP, Parliamentary Secretary for EU funds and the 2017 EU Presidency, underlined that Malta would push for the establishment of a fully-fledged EU asylum agency and for the reform of the Dublin system.


CoR backs Socialist-led opinion on a Common European Asylum System
Against opposition by the euro-sceptic ECR Group, the CoR plenary session adopted the opinion by PES member Enzo Bianco, mayor of the Italian port city of Catania, which calls for a fair and effective asylum system, based on solidarity and burden-sharing.


Cooperation with third countries is a precondition for managing migration flows
Emphasising the need to swiftly implement the obligations set out in the European Agenda on Migration, PES Group rapporteur Peter Bossman calls for a more decentralised management of migration as well as for tackling the root causes of irregular migration.


The real burden on future generations would be the omission of public investment today
Taking the floor in response to Vazil Hudak, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, the Groups' First Vice-President, Markus Töns, criticized the current functioning of the European Fund for Strategic Investments and called for a new European approach to the public debt.


PES key requests anchored in the CoR Annual Growth Survey resolution
The CoR resolution calls for an earlier and more structured involvement of regional and local authorities in the European Semester (the yearly cycle of economic policy coordination within the European Union which sets out general economic priorities for the EU and provides Member States with policy guidance).


The EU needs to deliver on an agenda for rural areas
In reaction to Commissioner Hogan's intervention, Guillaume Cros, CoR rapporteur on the 'Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) post 2020', called for a rural agenda which takes into consideration employment, the environment, climate change, agriculture, and innovation aspects.


Events calendar for 2017 announced and photo competition theme revealed at PES Group meeting
At their last meeting, PES Group members agreed on a preliminary calendar for their forthcoming events and on the theme of the photo competition 10th edition.



Newsletter of the PES Group
in the European Committee of the Regions
Issue Nr 17 - February 2017


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