Progressives pushing for a just and sustainable transformation for Europe’s cities, towns and villages

06/11/2020

cohesion meeting

PES cohesion and urban affairs ministers during the videoconference 

Europe’s citizens can count on socialists and democrats to promote fair and sustainable development models for their cities, towns and villages, ministers from the PES said today as they met by videoconference.

European Commissioner for Cohesion Elisa Ferreira attended the meeting.

On the agenda for the meeting of PES cohesion and urban affairs ministers: the Leipzig Charter on Sustainable European Cities, the European Renovation Wave, and the Territorial Agenda 2030.

Meeting Chair and Italian Minister for Southern Italy and Territorial Cohesion, Giuseppe Provenzano, said:

"Progressives are determined to build a fairer and more sustainable Europe, and to do this we are focused on transforming our cities, towns and villages, in light also of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic."

“We are committed to action to meet emerging challenges, like the digital transformation, whilst also tackling issues which continue to be high on the agenda for citizens, like ensuring everyone has good quality and affordable housing. These are priorities for our political family across the EU, also in the framework of our response to the COVID-19 crisis."

"Territorial and social cohesion must be a paramount objective for a bold progressive agenda. As recent elections show us, even in America, we must narrow the distances between rural and the urban areas as well as empowering social inclusion."

“We welcome the Renovation Wave put forward by Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans and commend the work of Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira to put it into action. It will be an invaluable tool to cut emissions, tackle energy poverty, improve Europe’s housing stock and create jobs."

“As progressive ministers, we continue to push for our priorities - a fair and green transition - to be front and centre in the Territorial Agenda 2030 and the revision of the Leipzig Charter on Sustainable European Cities.”

The ministers discussed the Leipzig Charter on Sustainable European Cities and agreed that it must reflect Goal 11 of the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda on making cities safe, inclusive, resilient and sustainable. It must also make a clear commitment to promoting affordable and social housing.

They also exchanged on the Territorial Agenda 2030 and progressive priorities for territorial cohesion for the next 10 years. The meeting welcomed the Agenda’s emphasis on a just and sustainable approach for urban, peri-urban and rural areas.

The ministers also further discussed Cohesion Policy instruments as tools for funding the recovery. They agreed these instruments must continue to be strengthened.

For the first time the meeting welcomed ministers responsible for urban affairs: Belgian Minister for Development Cooperation and Urban Policy, Meryame Kitir, and from Portugal, Minister for Modernisation of the State and Public Administration, Alexandra Leitão, Deputy Minister for Mobility Eduaro Pinheiro and Minister for the Environment and Climate Action, João Matos Fernandes.

 

The meeting was attended by:

Giuseppe Provenzano, Chair, Minister for Southern Italy and Territorial Cohesion, Italy

Meryame Kitir, Minister for Development Cooperation and in charge of Urban Policies,  Belgium

Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds and Social Dialogue, Malta

Alexandra Leitão, Minister for Modernization of the State and Public Administration, Portugal

João Pedro Matos Fernandes, Minister for the Environment and Climate Action, Portugal

Eduardo Pinheiro, Deputy Minister for Mobility, Portugal

 

Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms  European Commission

Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the Parliament of the German-speaking Community of Belgium, member of the PES Group in the Committee of the Regions, Belgium

Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General, PES