In Europe
An empty stage with spectators seen from behind.

Summit of Regions and Cities: Brussels presents the European Mayors’ Declaration

On 18 and 19 March, the tenth European Summit of Regions and Cities, organised by the European Committee of the Regions, took place in Mons. This biennial event brought together thousands of elected representatives from local and regional authorities as well as European decision-makers, to discuss the major challenges the EU is facing.

Panellists talk in front of an audience.

Against the backdrop of the imminent European elections, discussions focused on issues such as the climate crisis, investments, cohesion, public services and digital innovation. The main objective was to highlight local and regional initiatives across the EU, leading to a declaration aimed at European and national leaders.

This declaration, supported by the Brussels-Capital Region, underlined the importance of EU-backed public investments in meeting common challenges while preserving economic, social and territorial cohesion. The declaration also called for EU policies to be anchored at local and regional level in order to strengthen their democratic legitimacy and effectiveness.

The summit provided an opportunity to discuss the multiple crises Europe is facing, such as the climate crisis, the energy transition, the repercussions of the war in Ukraine and the impact of inflation. It also emphasised the essential role of local and regional authorities in bringing citizens closer to the European project and called for a strong cohesion policy.

A standing gentleman
The President of the European Committee of the Regions, Vasco Alves Cordeiro, stresses that the European Union is made up of its regions and cities, and that we have the power to create a stronger, fairer and more resilient Europe. He calls for recognition of the role of regions and cities as full players in the European project.
Video of a woman speaking, shown on a large screen
Speech by Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms: “If the next enlargement of the EU to include new countries is to be a success, the Cohesion Policy must follow suit to continue to ensure unity and prosperity. Otherwise, Europe risks fragmentation, loss of competitiveness and diminished potential. Without cohesion, there is no Europe!”

The Brussels-Capital Region took an active part in the summit, highlighting the role of cities as partners to achieve European objectives. The region presented the Brussels Declaration of European Mayors, adopted on 24 January and signed by more than a hundred cities. The Declaration pleads for a strong urban dimension in the next European political programming.

With the support of the European mayors, the Brussels-Capital Region has undertaken to promote and defend these recommendations throughout the Belgian presidency of the Council of the EU and beyond. On 20 March, the Minister-President also presented the Brussels Declaration of European Mayors to MEPs at the last Committee on Regional Development. All European cities are invited to sign the declaration online to join this concerted effort.

A man filming the entire summit with a professional camera.