The President of the European Committee of the Regions, Karl-Heinz Lambertz, delivered his second speech on "The State of the European Union: the View of Regions and Cities", during a debate with European Parliament President Antonio Tajani. The address held during the CoR's plenary session argued that Europe needed "more than just a change of time, but a change of direction and of method", giving regions and cities a greater say in shaping its future.
During his speech President Lambertz called for stronger EU funding and a stronger say in EU decision-making for regions and cities, stressing that, "Weakening our cities and regions is to weaken our Union. This must not be part of our blueprint for the future. Quite the opposite: by strengthening our territories we strengthen our Union".
Speaking at the debate, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani stressed that "Although in different ways, the European Parliament and the European Committee of the Regions bring together those elected by citizens at the European, local and regional level. Strengthened by this prerogative, we must work together to give concrete answers to our citizens and to design, with them, a Europe that is more effective, fairer and more able to represent them.”
Every year in October, the CoR President delivers his "State of the EU Regions" address before the CoR plenary. The aim is to take stock of the current situation of EU's cities and regions and look ahead to the main challenges for the following years.