New European funds to tackle the COVID-19

| Subject: International Relations

The EMA network advocates the role of metropolitan areas in managing these funds

EMA (European Metropolitan Authorities), the network of political representatives of the main European cities and metropolitan areas, has presented a document, addressed to European institutions, in which claims that actions and projects developed under a metropolitan scope are key to meet the European Union (EU) strategic objectives.

With this initiative, led by the AMB, EMA makes a clear statement calling for strong involvement and participation of metropolitan areas in the Recovery and Resilience Fund.

The document "Position paper on the role of metropolitan areas in planning and implementing the European Recovery and Resilience Facility" highlights that the metropolitan reality determines the lives of citizens, businesses and other stakeholders. To include local and metropolitan authorities and their priorities in national plans, and to enable them to access sufficient funding, can make a significant contribution to overcome the current challenges emerged as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the declaration

The document has been sent to senior officials of the European Union and to people in charge of managing and working with these new funds in the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions.

The importance of metropolitan areas

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected the European Union. The social, economic, and health effects are extremely intense in large urban and metropolitan areas. And local governments are the ones offering quick and viable responses, despite lacking technical and financial means.

Therefore, in July 2020, the European Council created the EU Next Generation fund and other instruments, such as the React-EU and the Recovery and Resilience Fund, to mitigate the economic and social effects on member states of the EU.

By the end of October, political and technical representatives from 17 metropolitan areas in 10 EU countries, from the metropolitan areas of Milan, Turin, Bratislava, Helsinki, Toulouse, Lyon, Paris, Nice, Katowice, Krakow, Warsaw , Lisbon, Porto, Budapest, Thessaloniki and the district of Derry and Strabane (Northern Ireland region) and Barcelona, met virtually to discuss the importance of metropolises in the selection of projects and in the implementation of actions at a supra-local level to promote the recovery of the territory. At the end of the meeting, the participants agreed to prepare a joint positioning document that would show the main axes of investment and the added value of large cities and metropolitan areas.

Thus, during the months of November and December, a very active working group was created, with the collaboration of Ivan Tosics from the Metropolitan Institute of Budapest, to draft the above-mentioned positioning document.