As rapporteur “Neighbourhood and the World” within the Committee of the Regions (CoR), Mayor Hans Janssen argues for an earmarked budget for municipal development cooperation, as well as for partnerships between municipalities and regions from the EU and their counterparts in other countries.
This was concretized in his report (or “opinion”, in CoR terms) on the proposed development, neighbourhood, international cooperation and pre-accession instruments for 2021-2027. On November 6, the other members of the CoR agreed with his proposed amendments to the European Commission’s proposal, which now head towards the other EU institutions in the form of a CoR opinion.
Increased budget for external EU policy
In Brussels, Mayor Janssen expressed his appreciation for the proposed increased budget for the EU’s development and neighbourhood policies. However, the role of municipalities and regions in these policies remains uncertain. “International policy is about whether our neighbours on the neighbouring continents positively develop both socially and economically, or whether their inhabitants flee to our European countries because there is more future in their own country. Local and regional authorities play a crucial role in process. “The Mayor’s opinion advocates € 500 million for local authorities. At the moment the European Commission only allocates resources to civil society.
Budget for 2021-2027
The report includes a number of proposed amendments to the European Commission’s proposals with regards to the pillar ‘ external policy’ of the new Multi-annual Financial Framework 2021-2027. Negotiations about this budget are complex, even more so due to Brexit. In Spring, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council plan to reach an agreement. For the time being, the European Parliament seems to be in favour of reinstalling the budget line for cooperation among local and regional authorities in international development cooperation, as can be read in the draft report of the DEVE committee of the Parliament.
In July, Mayor Hans Janssen of the municipality of Oisterwijk in the Netherlands became rapporteur for the opinion on the EU’s Development and Neighbourhood policies and budget for 2021-2027, for the CoR. The CoR is an EU advisory body that consists of elected members from local and regional authorities in all EU countries. Last week, the opinion “Neighbourhood and the World” was adopted during the plenary session of the CoR.