Bratislava, June 20 (TASR) – Europeans have called for structural changes, ambitious reforms and a fairer, more cohesive and faster-acting Union, and they also see a need to be active in issues related to adapting to climate change, representatives of the SK8 Self-governing Regions Association have told TASR in connection with the conclusions of the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE).
The regions view it as important for the European Union (EU) to remain active and remain the world leader on these issues.
SK8 welcomed the EU’s aim of listening to opinions on its future. It added two suggestions to the discussion between politicians, institutions and citizens. “We called for the needs of individual regions, which are the cornerstones of the EU, to be taken into account more via cohesion policy,” it stated.
SK8 praised the fact that the CoFoE’s conclusions call for the need to provide sustainable development and to make regions more demographically resilient so that they will be livelier and more attractive. In this context, support for local governments through cohesion policy will continue to be essential; for example, in the area of functional local and regional health care, stated the association. “The EU’s effective response to the coronavirus pandemic, but currently also to the war in Ukraine, is a strong argument in favour of the greater integration of member states,” claims SK8.
The association agrees that the decision-making process at all levels should be more flexible, although this mainly applies to decisions at the ‘EU 27’ level. “We also think that the voice of regions, towns and villages should be strengthened in the new framework,” it said.
SK8 views it as crucial that an open debate continues after the end of CoFoE.