8th Summit of Regions and Cities in Bucharest on 14-15 March:



 
Summit of Regions and Cities
Summit of Regions and Cities

The 8th European Summit of Regions and Cities “(Re)New Europe” brought together EU, national, local and regional authorities in Bucharest on 14-15 March 2019 at the Bucharest Summit. They met to find ways to involve citizens more effectively in the European project through a stronger participation of local and regional authorities in EU matters. Local and regional leaders adopted a Declaration on the future of Europe with the aim of sharing their voice ahead of the European Elections and the next term of office of the EU institutions. You can download the ‘Bucharest Declaration’ in EN, DE and FR.

The 8th European Summit of Regions and Cities took place on 14th and the 15th March 2019 in Bucharest, bringing together EU, national, local and regional authorities from across Europe. Co-organised by the European Committee of the Regions, the Romanian presidency of the Council of the European Union, and the Romanian delegation at the CoR, the summit this year was dedicated to discuss the future of the European Union. With the title “(Re)New Europe”, the questions underlying the many session aimed to find ways to involve the citizens more effectively in the European project through local and regional authorities.

In conclusion of the event, local and regional leaders adopted a declaration on the future of Europe with the aim of sharing their voice ahead of the European elections and ​the next term of office of the EU institutions. Ms Aleksandra Dulkiwicz, Mayor of Gdańsk, Mr Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania, Mr Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), and Mr Markku Markkula, First Vice-President of the CoR, delivered the so-called 'Bucharest Declaration', the result of months of consultation amongst CoR members, entitled "Building the EU from the ground up with our regions and cities".

Demanding recognition for the role of sub-national levels of governance, where proximity to the citizens is stronger, leaders of regions and cities defended the need for more subsidiary and a decentralised Europe after Brexit, so to “increase transparency, accountability and quality of policy-making with better engagement with citizens”. At a time when European citizens are losing confidence in the institutions, “the link between the Union and its citizens should be reinforced”. Here, cities and regions play a fundamental role. “EU’s cities and regions, and their elected representatives provide proximity, trust and stability in the Union at a time when divergences and antagonisms are growing,” the Bucharest Declaration states.

During the summit, a three-dimension Europe has been claimed for. The governance in the Union should be tri-dimensional and therefore include the cities and regions in the decision-making process, along with national governments and EU institutions. Local and regional authorities should participate also in the debate of the future of Europe. Karl-Heinz Lambertz said: “Nobody can rebuild Europe on their own. We have to mobilize the representatives elected by the European citizens in cities, regions, countries and in the European Parliament,” (…) “The European Union needs its cities and regions just as much as the cities and regions need the European Union,” he stressed. ”To rebuild trust, to reconnect with its citizens and to renew Europe, the EU needs its over one million local and regional politicians.” CoR President called on regional and local leaders “to recognise the Europe dimension of their work as well.”

Globalisation, the digital revolution, climate and demographic change are the main challenges Europe is facing, according to participants. “If we do not want European integration to become a reversible process, these transformations,” the CoR warned, “have to be accompanied, shaped, and regulated through a concentrated effort at all levels of government.”

The Bucharest Declaration highlights the need for the EU to keep investing in territorial and social cohesion beyond 2020.

<< back