Mayors of big cities across Europe call for cross-border solidarity during the corona crisis. In a joint statement of the network EUROCITIES, they urge a strong collaboration between all levels of government.
‘The Covid-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down and disrupted our societies beyond precedent,’ reads the statement from the network, which represents more than 140 major European cities. ‘We are deeply concerned about both the short and longer-term knock-on effects of the pandemic and the Europe-wide lockdown.’
‘We can already see the violent shock to our labour markets and sharp increases in unemployment locally,’ the mayors report. ‘Our health and social services are stretched beyond limits,’ affecting vital city services towards vulnerable groups, including the elderly, those at risk of domestic violence, homeless people, or people suffering from mental health illnesses.
EU needs to work with cities in the crisis – and beyond
‘With the right tools, city governments can further support people and local economies in the current crisis,’ EUROCITIES states, calling on the EU to work closely with cities on the EU’s recovery plan and to ensure rapid access for cities to funding.
The city leaders request ‘an increased health policy and crisis coordination at EU level’ and a close European cooperation: ‘The current situation calls for solidarity in the EU and strong collaboration between all levels of government.’
Cities are already working together across Europe ‘to urgently learn from each other’s responses and deal with the crisis in the most effective way,’ the mayors state. City collaboration is organised through networks like EUROCITIES and its platform COVIDnews.
The mayors also highlight the need to think and plan ahead for the time after the current crisis. ‘We need to have a clear view on sustainably rebuilding our communities and cities,’ they demand: Europe’s ambition of climate neutrality by 2050 and the European Green Deal initiatives ‘must stay on track.’
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