Local and Regional authorities, all of us, need to act upon the initiative: of the people, by the people, for the people, in order for Europe to reach the future that Europeans deserve. We need to reset Europe by shaping a new sustainable growth model respecting democracy, human rights and the rule of law by addressing inequalities and the climate crisis. To do so we need to act and not only promise”. Rena Dourou, head of leading opposition wing “Dynami Zois” in Attica Region, Deputy Head of Greek Congress Delegation and Current Affairs Committee 3rd Vice-Chair, made a speech during the joint event organized in Thessaloniki by the European Committee of the Regions, the Association of Greek Regions and the Thessaloniki International Exhibition, on Friday 17 of September 2021, concerning the “The day after for Europe and the crucial role of the Regions and the Municipalities”.

Today’s EU does not share with its people the ideals of Altiero Spinelli, one of the founding fathers of the EU, who was an unrelenting anti-fascist and profound defender of a democratic Europe”, underlined Dourou, adding the need to replace the very fruitful ‘small steps’ method created by Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman during the postwar period, with a strategy of broad initiatives by the Regions and the Cities. “Our regions and our cities need to build strong alliances for our common future with our youth. It is not a coincidence that our Congress youth delegates always present their inovative ideas and far reaching proposals as a source of inspiration for all of us. With them we could work out the means for a new reset of the European project through local and regional level of governance based on the democracy enhancement. Cities and regions need to build a ‘democracy of proximity’, the first level of democracy, as the Congress President Leendert Verbeek has recently underlined”.

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