On 14 July 2020, the network of the #CohesionAlliance organised a webinar bringing together institutions and associations representing local and regional authorities in the EU. The webinar took place three days before the Special European Council on 17-18 July 2020 to discuss the recovery plan to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and a new long-term EU budget. One of the objectives of the webinar was to convene members of the #CohesionAlliance, allowing them to exchange on the needs of European regions and cities in the light of the recovery plan and the multiannual financial framework for the European Union for 2021-2027.
Hosted by Mr Apostolos Tzitzikostas, President of the European Committee of the Regions, the webinar gave a platform to intervene to Ms Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner in charge of Cohesion and Reforms, Mr Younous Omarjee, Chair of the REGI Committee for the European Parliament Ms Isabelle Boudineau, Chair of the Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy and EU Budget (COTER) of the European Committee of the Regions as well as Ms Ann-Sofi Backgren, President of the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR), Ms Begoña Villacís, Member of Eurocities, Ms Ilaria Bugetti, spokesperson for territorial development of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), Ms Paula Fernández, Member of the Bureau of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) and Mr Jean-Claude Marcourt, Chair of the working group on public investments of the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE).
AEBR’s President Ann-Sofi Backgren stressed the importance of European Territorial Cooperation, and particularly of cross-border cooperation, to help border regions be resilient and recover from the current crises. Territorial cohesion suffered an enormous backlash during the pandemic of Covid-19, as National Authorities have unilaterally closed their borders. Citizens in border regions have been prevented to work, to go to school, to visit families and friends and to carry out regular leisure activities because the borders have been closed.
To avoid this situation from happening again, and to support citizens in border regions, “we need a stronger Cohesion Policy within the new MFF and the Recovery Fund taking into account European territories facing specific difficulties such as border, mountain, peripheral, islands and other maritime regions; additional constraints like sparse and/or aged population, brain drain, lack of infrastructures and public services; and, of course, also general challenges, namely climate and demographic changes, the necessary transition to more sustainable development approaches and energy sources, an optimal digitalisation, global threats like Covid-19” stated Ms Backgren.
More information on the webinar is available here: https://cor.europa.eu/en/news/Pages/Europe-recovery-will-fail-without-strong-cohesion.aspx200714 banner social media AEBRBack to overview