Socialists from Europe's cities and regions join forces for the future of urban policy

09/12/2020

PES Women online conference

Pictured (from left): PES Deputy Secretary General Yonnec Polet, Chair of the PES Environment, Climate Change and Energy Network Javi López MEP, and President of the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions and Mayor of Coulaines Christophe Rouillon taking part in the videoconference

Representatives of the Party of European Socialists yesterday led a discussion on a progressive agenda for sustainable cities with the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions.

Chair of the PES Environment, Climate Change and Energy Network, Javi López MEP, and PES Deputy Secretary General, Yonnec Polet, were invited by the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) to address socialist and social-democratic local representatives on urban policies that tackle the climate crisis, promote social justice and strengthen participatory democracy.

Members of the PES Group welcomed the draft PES policy paper, Progressive and Sustainable Cities: Our vision for fair urban and regional development, as well as the renewed attention given to the important role cities have to play in ensuring a fair and just transition for all Europe’s citizens.

The measures set out in this policy paper are designed to promote social fairness, eradicate poverty, foster diversity and equality and fight against pollution and the degradation of the urban environment. It calls for cities to be given the competences and resources that they need to take forward these aspirations for a fair and just urban development.

MEP and chair of the PES Environment, Climate Change and Energy Network, Javi López, said:

“Our political family has always had two objectives: social justice and environmental justice. Across Europe, socialist and social-democratic municipal and regional councillors, mayors and deputy-mayors have been elected with a strong mandate to introduce ambitious social and environmental policies. We have a long history of progressive and sustainable urban policy which benefits everyone working and living in our societies. Our vision for cities is clear: the transition to a greener future must be just, or it will not happen at all.”

President of the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions and Mayor of Coulaines, Christophe Rouillon, said:

“We warmly welcome the initiative of the PES to focus on the challenges that cities and regions face today. Local and regional authorities have been at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19 and its dramatic social consequences, and we have an even bigger part to play in the recovery.

“Socialists in territories of all sizes are fighting hard to provide quality public services after a decade of austerity. Citizens expect us to deliver on issues such as housing, clean mobility and social inclusion, and we stand united to shape European policy in support of cities.”

The Progressive and Sustainable Cities policy paper has been elaborated by the PES Environment, Climate Change and Energy Network, a working group of national policy experts, MEPs and representatives of NGOs. It has benefited from the support of the PES Social Europe Network and PES Local, the association of socialist local representatives.