On 14 June, a number of politcians from the CIVITAS MIMOSA cities met with MEPs from the Urban Intergroup in Strasbourg to discuss "Sustainable Urban Mobility in Times of Crisis".
Thanks to this meeting and the innovative and practical tools identified by CIVITAS MIMOSA, the Urban Intergroup has the opportunity to better identify future policies and funding for environmental sustainability and urban mobility within the European Regional Development Fund. It can do this by streamlining a number of dedicated budgets for more effectiveness. In particular, a fast track for cities that have shown experience and leadership in the field of sustainable urban mobility should be created. The meeting was attended by many Members of the Parliament involved in the negotiations of the new cohesion policy after 2014. Among them were Jan Olbrycht, President of the Intergroup and rapporteur of the European Regional Development Fund regulation and Lambert van Nistelrooij, Vice-president of the Intergroup and rapporteur for the Common Provisions Regulation. The Vice Mayor of Funchal Bruno Pereira stated, “Decisive action at local level is needed to address key EU societal challenges, including climate change mitigation and building a functioning trans-European transport network, but municipal budgets are severely strained. EU funds can leverage this local action - but for this, more EU funds needs to be channeled towards towns and cities and towards urban mobility. It should be ensured that the share of regional and cohesion financing dedicated to cities – also for urban mobility - reflects the importance of urban areas for the future.” The President of the Urban Intergroup, Jan Olbrycht, commented on the great value demonstrated by the five partner cities over the past four years and stressed the importance of considering sustainable urban mobility a policy priority of the European Parliament. Olbrycht also stated the need for closer links between research and implementation, focusing on financing channels, including the European Regional Development Fund, that promotes the sustainability of services and actions through projects funded by the European Union. Other Mayors attending the meeting included Frits Lintmeijer, Deputy Mayor for Mobility in Utrecht and Andrea Colombo, Deputy Mayor for Traffic and Mobility in Bologna. The Urban Intergroup of the European Parliament is a cross-party and cross-committee group with a horizontal approach to discuss urban issues. During the meeting, the cities discussed innovative solutions and interventions made by the five partner cities of CIVITAS MIMOSA: Bologna, Utrecht, Tallinn, Gdansk and Funchal.
Author: Helen Mullarkey