Local communities are the foundation of Europe, so the conference on the future of Europe must make their voices heard, stressed the president of the Committee of the Regions, Apostolos Cicikostas, in a statement on the opening of the conference.
"As local leaders, we have huge responsibilities in these troubled times – from providing health services and running schools to providing social services," Cicikostas emphasized.
He recalled that the Covid-19 pandemic across Europe for over a year has forced the introduction of restrictions on the lives of citizens and other unprecedented urgent measures. He also noted that in these difficult times, one million democratically elected politicians at the regional and local level in over 300 regions and 90,000 the municipalities they represent, have not stopped working for the benefit of the inhabitants of regions, towns, and villages all over Europe.
As the head of the CoR pointed out, Europe must emerge more resilient from this crisis and formally recognize the centrality of local and regional authorities, "essential to ensure the health, prosperity, resilience, and dynamism of our local communities".