Core Cities UK Cabinet has welcomed an open letter to the European Council, Commission and Parliament and the leaders of each nation, calling on them to work more closely with cities to create a stronger and more inclusive economy across continental borders.
The letter was launched today at a gathering of EUROCITIES, a network of 187 major cities across Europe, including most of the Core Cities.
Leader of Leeds City Council and Chair of Core Cities UK, Cllr Judith Blake spoke at the event, co-signing the letter which sets out a powerful agenda for renewing a sense of engaged citizenship and restoring confidence in democracy.
The letter states this can only be achieved by giving local people more of a say in what happens where they live, through local as well as national institutions.
The letter also urges decision makers across Europe to work in partnership with cities to ensure a positive future for their citizens and their economies across Europe’s borders. It also invites them to a summit of mayors and city leaders due to be held in Brussels in March next year.
Cllr Blake said: “I welcome this letter from EUROCITIES and want to restate our support for this important network between the great cities of Europe.
“Regardless of whether we are in the European Union, the connections between cities, their flows of trade, business and labour are vital to all our economies.
“Post-Brexit, cities are more important than ever and national leaders must go further in recognising their potential to create more Inclusive Growth for the future, getting more people into better jobs.
“I’m proud to stand with other European city leaders today and set out ways in which a local approach can reconnect people to civic life. I’m also here to send out the message that the UK’s cities are friendly, diverse and welcoming places that are open for business and ready for the economic and social challenges of the 21st century.”
Daniël Termont, Mayor of Ghent and incoming EUROCITIES President, said:
“Look at cities to see that the spirit of Europe is still very much alive. We have rallied in response to the refugee situation, we deliver bold local climate action, and design innovative programmes to fight unemployment. Our experience can be vital for rebuilding faith in the European project, and we urge European and national leaders to work in partnership with us to give Europe a better future.”
In their open letter the EUROCITIES members also acknowledge the role that UK cities will continue to play in the continent’s affairs despite the Brexit vote.
The EUROCITIES letter itself can be read at: