Bratislava, July 8 (TASR) – The European Union currently needs energy from the lowest level – i.e. cities and regions – in order to contribute to the development of its people’s welfare and boost investments, President of the European Committee of the Regions Markku Markkula said on Friday.
He was speaking at an introductory press conference to the 7th European Summit of Regions and Cities in Bratislava.
According to him, a key impetus for this summit is being provided by the drafting of the Bratislava Declaration. “We want to use the EU’s strategic investment package to the maximum, and use it in cities and regions. Following Brexit, I’ve got a feeling that we must speed up these efforts. Investments need to be targeted well, and this is what the action plan of the Bratislava Declaration is aimed at,” said Markkula.
It may well be grounded in the fundamental pillars of European policies – including Energy Union, smart transport and the EU’s city programme. “We want to see the EU growing sustainably, so we want to support young businesses, research and innovation. This is going to represent a comprehensive investment, concerning specific activities aimed at helping people,” said Markkula.
European Commission Vice-president for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic noted that the summit of cities and regions was attended by almost 800 delegates from throughout the EU. The last summit took place two years ago and there’s still a problem with a lack of investments in the European economy, he said. The current level of investments is €300 billion lower in annual terms compared to the pre-crisis levels, Sefcovic pointed out.
“An important issue will be a debate on how to restore investments, how to offer quality projects to investors in our cities and regions, how to target projects to allow cities and regions to become smart and how to form sustainable policies,” added Sefcovic.