Press Release : Small towns must not be the “forgotten” ones of the European Green Deal

After the European Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen has presented her various plans for the months to come regarding digitalization, the European Green Deal and many other major transformations, the Confederation of Towns and municipalities of Europe (CTME), presided by Roberto Pella, ANCI First Vice-president, welcomes the opinion of the Committee of Regions, ‘Towards sustainable neighborhoods and small communities – Environment policy below municipal level’, published on February the 11th 2020.

Small towns and municipalities of Europe will be key to the success of the implementation of the Green Deal and the strategy for a Social Europe in the territories. For Tugdual Le Lay, General Secretary of the CTME: “small towns must secure access to EU funds in order to be able to fight global warming and adapt to environmental transitions. The ambitious EU objectives will only be met if all local authorities are associated to the strategic planning of these initiatives”.

Roberto Pella, President of the CTME: “the European Committee of the Regions’ proposal of a European Day of Sustainable Villages and Neighbourhoods is exactly what the EU needs. It is time that citizens from all over Europe be taken into consideration: proximity and localism is expected from EU authorities to realize the Union’s expectations, in accordance with the subsidiarity principle many are keen on putting forward. The CTME is determined to play its part in this collective effort.”

For the CTME, the municipal level is currently lacking human resources, financial and technical capabilities to be able to properly address and answer the various calls at European level. Not addressing the issue is taking the risk of the widening of the territorial divide and the perception of abandonment of public authorities, which unfortunately but quite automatically fuel defiance towards EU institutions and their very purpose.