On 4th February Karl-Heinz Lambertz president of the European Committee of the Regions (CdR) opened the conference "Cities and regions for development cooperation", which aims to promote cooperation for sustainable development among governments at local and regional level around the world.
The main objective of the forum will be to discuss the challenges of urban development and the ways to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local and regional level.
In this sense, Lambertz said "a successful global climate strategy must be articulated in specific territorial objectives and transformed into concrete local actions".
"While it is essential to create enabling framework conditions for the creation of territorial partnerships through political recognition, it is equally important that adequate financial support be provided to local and regional authorities to strengthen their own capacities to assume the role of actors of the sustainable development",
The opening ceremony was also attended by Neven Mimica European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Souad Ben Abderrahim mayor of Tunisia, and Peter Kurz mayor of Mannheim (Germany) and member of the CoR.
Commissioner Mimica focused on the cooperation between different entities, "not only to see how local and regional partnerships can help to guarantee clean, prosperous and safe cities around the world, but to see how the cooperation of different partners and interlocutors can make a real difference "
Regarding the association within the thematic program 2019-2020 for local authorities, Mimica announced that "one hundred million euros will go towards the strengthening of urban governance for a more effective management of cities, improving services for their inhabitants and guaranteeing the development of companies and the creation of employment".
Ben Abderrahim, for his part, emphasized the idea of "reaching a balance between rural regions and cities" and affirmed that "collaboration between the central power and local corporations is important to guarantee investments and services and to involve the citizens, allow participative governance and favor the circular economy ".
Finally, Kurz alluded to the fulfillment of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda in its Sustainable Development Goals, and stressed that "75% of people will live in cities as of the middle of this century, therefore, without sustainable cities, there can be a sustainable world. "