On behalf of the Mayors and political leaders of more than 100 major cities, EUROCITIES is calling for a more inclusive approach to European governance.
On behalf of the Mayors and political leaders of more than 100 major cities in Europe, EUROCITIES has taken the initiative of sending an Open Letter to the Members of the Convention on the Future of the EU. The Open Letter argues that cities have an important part to play in developing and strengthening the governance of the European Union, in order to meet the expectations of citizens and the challenges of the 21st Century.
The text of the Open Letter was unanimously approved by the Executive Committee of EUROCITIES, and copies have been sent to each of the 105 Members of the Convention by Mrs Eva-Riitta Siitonen, the Mayor of Helsinki and the current President of EUROCITIES.
The letter points out that the cities and regions already play a major role in the implementation, financing and enforcement of policies and legislation which have been developed and decided at European level. It argues that the challenges facing Europe and its citizens can only be properly addressed by adopting a more dynamic, holistic and inclusive approach to policy making. It calls for more effective cooperation among all the levels or spheres of governance: local, regional, national and European.
Addressing the Convention, EUROCITIES calls on the European Union to:
– Formally recognise the principle of local self-government as defined in the European Charter of Local Self-Government (Council of Europe, 1985)
– Develop appropriate mechanisms in order to strengthen cooperation between the various spheres of governance (local, regional, national and European)
– Provide channels for a systematic and transparent dialogue between the European Commission and representatives of local and regional public authorities
– Grant the Committee of the Regions the official status of an EU institution
EUROCITIES also considers that the following principles should be enshrined in the core of any future Constitution (or Constitutional Treaty) of the European Union:
– The objective of economic and social cohesion
– The objective of sustainable development
– A clear legal status for the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
– The European Social Model and access to services of general economic interest
EUROCITIES is committed to making a positive contribution to the debate on the future of the EU during the coming months, and is encouraging its members to play an active part in the national forums, which are being set up in each of the current and future Member States.