Mayors, presidents and political representatives of European cities and metropolitan areas met in Rome on October 26, 2018 for the fourth edition of the EMA (European Metropolitan Authorities) Forum to continue the debate and work which was initiated in the previous editions and to take up again the conclusions reached in Warsaw to assert with determination a commitment to the following issues for the post-2020 period:
* Continuation of political programmes based on cohesion, maintaining the current level of investment in regard to the European Union’s financial budget;
* Strengthening of cohesion policies in the urban and metropolitan scope.
* Being active partners in the projection, execution and achievement of results.
The European metropolitan areas support the proposal from the European Commission on the continuation of the European Cohesion Policy in the post-2020 period, as stated in the Warsaw Declaration and in the meetings which took place with the European Commissioner for Regional Policy, the President of the European Committee of the Regions and European Parliament members in Brussels in 2017.
At the same time European metropolitan cities particularly regret the significant cuts in cohesion policy budget: 10% in real terms, compared to the 2014-2020 period. The European Council and Commission have openly and repeatedly acknowledged the positive impact that cohesion policy has had in the past and its potential for the future. We recall that the promotion of economic, social and territorial cohesion is one of the Treaty objectives and that the Seventh Report on cohesion demonstrates that cohesion policy is achieving this goal. Currently European Union is facing a multitude of crises and we believe, that EU must continue with a strong cohesion policy where European, national, regional and local priorities meet and converge. We also believe that the cohesion budget is particularly important as it is one of the most visible European policies in the daily lives of our citizens.
The future cohesion policy for the post-2020 period should promote development strategies managed on a local level, mainly delegating finance-management tasks to local authorities.
Metropolitan areas should be identified as intermediate bodies and take part in the execution of the programmes using European funding (especially European Structural and Investment Funds).
On the basis of the structure proposed by the Commission for the 2021-2027 Programme, European metropolitan cities aspire to play a key role on the institutional discussion tables and take part in the decision-making process in the identification of future programmes.
On a national and regional level, metropolitan areas must be part of the steering committee which represents an important context in the field of the structural funds programme.
Currently, metropolitan cities do not participate in the consultation of the programmes and resources allocated to them. It is a structural problem which must be faced and resolved on a European and national level.
The cohesion policy is key to support the development of territorial balance and solidarity policies within the metropolitan areas.
FOR A MORE INCISIVE ROLE OF METROPOLITAN CITIES
IN THE SCOPE OF POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS
European cities and regions are facing important problems which could be resolved if they were managed on a metropolitan level. Metropolitan competences such as those related to air quality, mobility and transport, urban planning, housing availability, reinforce public space for a better inclusion, migration management, unemployment and lack of competitiveness are just a few examples for which efficient solutions could be envisaged from the scope of the metropolitan area itself. At the same time, there is a need to strengthen the governance of metropolitan areas through national legislative reforms and the allocation of greater resources.
The European Cohesion Policy and other sectoral European policies should pay more attention to the territory’s metropolitan scope. EMA member countries are committed to working together in order to bring this demand to the attention of the competent bodies.
A representation of Metropolitan authorities should be ensured in the European Committee of the Region (CoR).
THE FUTURE OF EMA
After four constructive editions of EMA forums (Barcelona 2015, Turin 2016, Warsaw 2017 and Rome 2018) with the participation of mayors, presidents and political representatives from over 40 European metropolitan authorities and networks (Metropolis, Eurocities and Metrex), we should be proud of the work we have accomplished so far.
In addition to these political meetings, we have also carried out common projects, idea exchanges, comparative analyses, research conducted on a metropolitan level and bilateral relations which have benefited not just our institutions but also our citizens’ quality of life.
We are committed to taking another step forward by analysing different measures which can be jointly developed on a voluntary basis and on a European scale (joint public procurements, common programmes in specific areas, technical exchanges, etc., also through collaboration with the other networks). The first result could be presented at the next EMA forum.
We agree to hold the next edition of the EMA Forum in Lyon in 2019.