“We cannot build a strong and united Europe, if our political commitments are not backed with proper financial resources. Therefore support the European Parliament’s commitment and call on the European Council to join forces and adopt a strong EU budget post 2020 before the EU elections. We must show our citizens that Europe is working for them. “

This is the main message delivered by EPP-CoR President Michael Schneider (EPP/DE), to Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, during the debate on the State of the Union: the view of regions and cities at the Plenary session of the Committee of the Regions on 9 October 2018.

A swift adoption of the EU’s budget post 2020 would help avoid the unfortunate experience of 2013 when the current MFF was agreed with considerable delay, causing problems for hundreds of EU-funded projects on the ground.

Speaking about the current situation in Europe’s regions and cities, Schneider acknowledged the challenge of the rise of populist and extremist forces, which foster a critical view on the EU’s weak answers to issues like migration, unemployment or climate change and threaten the unity of the European Union.

However, he said, “the reality on the ground is the one experienced by our people. They want us to work relentlessly to improve their lives in the places they live in. We are convinced that we must grow together, grow in a cohesive, inclusive and sustainable way across all regions, cities, and municipalities in the EU.”

On the topic of bringing Europe closer to its citizens Schneider stated: “No investment can be successful on the ground without clear ownership and partnership with our local communities”. He mentioned the EPP Local Dialogues initiative as an example on how to reconnect better with people and to learn about their concerns and hopes for the future of Europe.

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