Our Main Priorities

Sustainable development & Green New Deal

Following the commitments of the Covenant of Mayors, small towns in the EU have a key role in achieving our Sustainable development goals, notably regarding digitalisation, the fight against global warming and territorial divides. Rural, peripheral & small-town Europe are the victims of growing territorial and social divides across the continent. We find ourselves in the front line when faced with the abandonment of populations. The European green deal must be a way to achieve a smooth and sustainable development for our communities. Together with local authorities’ associations of all countries of Europe, Regions of Europe, the EU institutions and in particular the European Committee of the Regions, we wish to participate in the co construction of political and pragmatic responses to these concerns

The emergency is ecological and social, but it is also territorial

The necessary means to fight Territorial divides

The EU budget cut is a very bad signal for local authorities and especially small towns. Structural funds (European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund & European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development) must not be an adjustment variable and cannot compensate for the weakness and inadequacy of the EU budget. We demand an emergency plan to ensure current policies be extended in the case of delays in the next MFF’s approval. In response to the EU’s growing missions, its budget should be expanded through own resources. We ask the new priorities of the Member States not be financed on the back of European solidarity policies, the most visible to our fellow citizens in the territories. 

The EU territorial & cohesion policies are a top priority for small municipalities

Transitions: foresee to adjust rather than react & endure

To address the territorial divide, transitions must be anticipated. First, digitalization can help close the widening gaps between territories, provided we have a collective response to  the issues of data security. Peripheral areas must be accompanied through mobility, renewables, health and quality of life evaluations in order to counter brain-drain and metropolisation of living areas.
Our populations are getting older, citizens are demanding public services, and greater accountability of their leaders. We believe proximity is the answer, and local authorities can provide a solution.
Here are some concrete steps to bridge the gaps and provide answers to citizens. The risk? The rise of the far-right or worse, disinterest for democracy & government of our societies.

Anticipating the major transitions: localism to halt extremism and restore confidence