A strong cohesion policy main request of the 2018 "State of the Regions and Cities” speech

The President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), Karl-Heinz Lambertz (PES/Belgium), delivered today the 2018 "State of the European Union: the View of Regions and Cities" speech, focusing on the most pressing issues facing cities and regions in the European Union, including the next EU long-term budget, the future of EU regional policy, and the involvement of regions and cities in EU decision-making.

“Cities and Regions need Europe, and Europe needs the cities and the regions. If we want to make a clear case for Europe, we need to look at all those projects that are successfully implemented thanks to EU funds on the ground. In our 100.000 communities, 300 regions, and many cities, we see Europe in 3D, it is where Europe is really happening’, stressed Lambertz in the presence of European Parliament president, Antonio Tajani.

“To give citizens solid prospects for their future, we need to continue our fight for a strong future cohesion policy, which is future-oriented and our best long-term investment”, he emphasised.

Intervening in the debate on behalf of the PES Group, President Catiuscia Marini underlined the important role of local and regional authorities who are best placed to strengthen citizens’ trust in the European project through their daily work.

“In a time in which the European project is called into question by populist voices who spread fear and undermine the trust of citizens, our role is more important than ever. It is cities and regions that provide solutions in a wide range of areas, be it by guaranteeing quality public services, boosting employment and successfully integrate migrants, all with the help of EU funds. Defending a strong cohesion policy for all regions means defending the very essence of our European project, that is solidarity”, she underlined.

“Ahead of the European elections, we need to remember that democracy and freedom are not to be taken for granted, but must be created anew every day”, she concluded.

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