EFA MEP Diana Riba has called for Europe's regions to play a key role in the the EU's forthcoming recovery plan, designed to help the EU's economy and society recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Diana Riba was speaking in the European Parliament's debate on the recent and forthcoming European Councils, with the presence of Council President Charles Michel and the European Commission.
The MEP said that Europe's regions have been in the front line in dealing with the economic and social consequences of the pandemic, and that they have the experience and competences to play a crucial role in the recovery. It would be vital to include the regions in the management of funds, the MEP added.
Speaking in the debate, Diana Riba MEP said:
"Beyond the economic volume or the percentages of financial allocation to sector policies, I would like to emphasize the importance of the participation of the European regions in the future recovery and resilience facility.
"Since the COVID crisis began, most regions and local administrations have been at the forefront to solve needs of the population. Some of them even manage key competences such as Health, Education, or Social Services. It is thus the regional administrations who know their communities best, and furthermore, they already have experience in managing European funds.
"The inclusion of the regions in the management of the funds would allow us to streamline and execute more projects, with the European Union thus gaining further credibility.
"The management of this crisis has made the need for greater coordination clear, but also the need for greater multi-level governance. That is the only way we will manage to tackle the multiple consequences of the crisis that has impacted our regions to differing degrees.
"Some amendments to the Commission’s text now under negotiation already contain this proposal. We hope they will be adopted and that the Council will take them into consideration.
"Thinking globally and acting locally is more necessary than ever."