COVID-19: European Committee of the Regions has launched a platform to support local and regional communities across Europe

A new information exchange platform has helped to share needs and solutions to the virus, fostered mutual support and acted as a mechanism to check whether EU measures have been realistic at a local and regional level. The CoR has also provided local communities with practical information on EU support actions, in particular financial measures.

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) drew up an action plan to support and assist local and regional authorities in the fight against the coronavirus. The five-point plan included the launch of an information exchange and mutual support platform for local and regional leaders to share their needs and proposals in the face of the pandemic. The new platform also allowed CoR members to give feedback on EU actions and their accommodation in the different territories. The CoR provides regular and practical information on EU measures, particularly economic and financial support.

The Conference of Presidents of the European Committee of the Regions endorsed an action plan to tackle the coronavirus, calling on the EU institutions to support local leaders through an EU Health Emergency Mechanism, including coordinating the distribution of essential medical equipment across the Union.

To address the population’s health, social, and economic needs, local and regional leaders need to protect their economies. The action plan calls for financial support for local businesses and individuals facing unemployment, as well as EU support for the tailor-made recovery strategies that many EU regions are currently developing to stabilise their economies.

Referring to the adoption of the action plan, the President of the European Committee of the Regions, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, said: „Our CoR members and all EU regional and local leaders are making extraordinary efforts in the fight against the pandemic. In these difficult times, we must be united and act responsibly. Many presidents of regions and mayors have asked me to create a platform for exchange to enable CoR members and EU regional and local leaders to share their needs, observations and ideas and develop common solutions. The action plan we have just adopted will also allow us to address the health needs of local communities better and address the social and economic aspects of the pandemic and its impact on local and regional authorities”.

The CoR is the interface and point of reference between the European Union and its local and regional governments in its institutional role. In the context of the current crisis, it is ready to assist, inform, collaborate with and represent regions and cities across Europe.

Specifically, in operational terms, the CoR’s action plan aims to:

  • promote EU support for local and regional authorities in the health sector by calling for an EU Health Emergency Mechanism;
  • create a platform for exchange and cooperation to promote mutual support between cities and regions across the EU;
  • provide, through the CoR mechanisms, specific indications from the local and regional level on how to address the health, social and economic aspects of the pandemic and its impact on citizens and their local communities;
  • provide practical and regular information to local and regional authorities on EU measures to deal with the crisis;
  • provide an on-the-spot reality check of the EU’s actions to combat the pandemic and gather feedback from members to improve EU policies based on experience gained at a local and regional level (policy adequacy check).

These actions and measures will be accompanied by targeted communication initiatives to inform what the EU is doing to assist and support local communities in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Contact:

David Crous

Tel. +32 (0)470 88 10 37

david.crous@cor.europa.eu

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