European Interest

European Greens support Visegrad’s Mayors ‘Pact of Free Cities’ to fight populism

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Gergely Karácsony is Mayor of Budapest since 13 October 2019. He is one of the four Visegrad' Mayors ‘Pact of Free Cities’ alliance.

The European Green Party is supporting the call of Visegrad’s capital cities mayors to directly channel European cohesion funding to the municipal level. The “Pact of Free Cities” Alliance, composed of the leaders of Bratislava, Budapest, Prague and Warsaw, is spearheading a progressive future for their countries, but such a future requires European support. The European Green Party supports the channeling of cohesion funds at the municipal level in case of fraud, corruption, or disrespect of the rule of law. These threats all looming directly on the concerned countries.

“The downward trend in democracy and the rule of law is terrible as such, but it also worsens social inequality and weakens the fight against climate change. The lack of transparency leads to misuse of European cohesion funding, and too often, corruption prevents this funding to achieve its full impact. We trust that progressive mayors of the “Pact of Free Cities” alliance, but also of many more cities in Europe where democracy is under pressure would more efficiently use EU funding,” commented Evelyne Huytebroek, co-chair of the European Green Party.

“I welcome the initiative of the Free Cities in Central Europe for innovative urban policy to address climate change and social inequality. Their pro-European alliance against populism shows that there is “another Visegrad”. I call upon the EU commission to collaborate with its allies for European values on every level of government. In the face of conflicts of interest and corruption on the national level, the EU Commission must as a last resort administer EU funding without involving the national authorities and directly channel it to the municipal level. This way, the citizens receive the funds they need instead of EU funding disappearing in dubious and intransparent channels,” added MEP Monika Vana (Greens/EFA), member of the Committee on Regional development.

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