EP2014: Local and Regional Government speak up!

The Council of European Municipalities and Regions launches its election manifesto #myEUvoice

“Citizens are expecting a strong Europe, capable of ensuring favourable conditions for sustainable growth and fair development.”

The upcoming European Elections are overshadowed by a Europe facing many threats and challenges; a perfect reason why they should be seen as the principal instrument for citizens to influence the future of our Europe. Although Social Policy is a primarily national competence, the consequences of inequality and exclusion are very much a European problem. Here the European Parliament has a pivotal role to play by ensuring that the opinion of local and regional authorities on social inclusion is at the heart of all European discussions.

There can however be no social inclusion without addressing the needs of all population groups. Demographic change in Europe means an ageing population. It also means new needs, including specific policies and services. As providers of public services in the areas of education and training, health care, public transport and housing, local government is ideally placed to develop solutions for the needs and aspirations of both younger and older citizens. And rather than focusing on the negative aspects of this change, the European Parliament has the capacity to be at the forefront in promoting this as a unique opportunity in terms of economy, growth and sustainability. At the same time, actors at all levels- local and regional authorities, civil society, the young and old- must work together to achieve this.

We therefore wish to contribute to the goal of providing meaning to the European project through an electoral campaign that integrates not only this social dimension, but also the territorial dimension, encompassing our 9 key messages:

– Continue prioritising youth employment and development
– Monitoring the implementation of the structural funds
– Opting for a lighter and simpler regulation at EU level
– Respecting the principles of subsidiarity
– Defining ambitious objectives for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
– Increasing the Europe for Citizens programme budget
– Standing for deeper integration and democratic legitimacy
– Supporting further enlargement
– Supporting integrated global approaches

This is our pledge as the European umbrella organisation representing local and regional government. In this context, and through our involvement in numerous initiatives at European level aimed at promoting intergenerational dialogue, we will campaign for strengthening the abilities of various age groups to live in an Age-Friendly environment.

CEMR has launched its campaign ‘#myEUvoice’ ahead of the European Parliament elections in May 2014. Find out more here or follow us on twitter @ccrecemr

Christina Dziewanska-Stringer
Policy Adviser- Employment and Social Affairs

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