Mayors from the Eurocities network have penned an open letter calling for urgent action to be taken to unlock the investment potential of cities. The mayors of Florence and Leipzig, who speak on behalf of more than 200 European cities, wrote in reaction to a recent communication in which the European Commission outlined ideas for a reform of the EU economic governance framework.
The mayors note: “70% of European investment happens at sub-national level,” and that stronger involvement of cities is therefore essential to realise the “long-term financing into the energy, digital, climate and social infrastructure that our constituents need.”
With this in mind, the mayors call on European leaders to:
- Meaningfully include cities in the elaboration of national investment plans to ensure that all levels of government in each member state are able to undertake much needed long-term investment.
- Prioritise the just and green transition in the national investment commitments to tackle the investment gap to achieve the Green Deal objectives.
- Ensure flexibility for investment flows towards the just transition at all levels of government in the review of the Stability and Growth Pact.
- Align investment commitments under the new EU fiscal framework with those made under other processes, such as the Recovery and Resilience Plans, to ensure goals and actions contribute to EU’s strategic priorities.
- Involve cities in the monitoring of the plans by providing a subnational analysis and territorial assessment of investments and policy actions taken to address the Country Specific Recommendations under the European Semester process.
“We are past wishing. If cities are to achieve the just transition and climate targets – and if cities cannot, then Europe cannot – we must not be constrained from making the necessary investments,” said Dario Nardella, president of Eurocities and Mayor of Florence.
The mayors sign off with the commitment: “As mayors, we are ready to work with our governments and EU leaders to effectively respond to our short-term economic and energy crisis, as well as to the longer-term EU-wide sustainable economic development goals.” Source: eureporter.co