Cork City Cllr Kieran McCarthy calls on Regions and Cities to work together to defeat Coronavirus

At a special European Committee of the Regions Conference of Presidents meeting held by video conference on the 24th March a five point action plan of the CoR was agreed to support and assist local and regional authorities on the forefront of the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. The five-points Plan includes the launch of an exchange platform to help local and regional leaders sharing their needs and solutions and to enhance mutual support between local communities across Europe. It will also enable CoR Members to give their feedback on the EU actions already put in place, allowing a policy reality check from the ground. The CoR will provide regular and practical information about EU measures, with particular focus on the financing opportunities.
The European Alliance Group President Cllr Kieran McCarthy (Cork City) strongly supported the action plan and said it was vital that Regions and Cities across the EU worked together to ensure that this virus would be defeated and that regions and cities had to means at their disposal via EU and National Funding.  He added it was hugely important for citizens to heed the advice of the relevant authorities regarding ‘staying at home’ and ‘social distancing’. 
Commenting the endorsement of the Action Plan, the President of the European Committee of the Regions, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, said: “Our CoR members and all EU’s regional and local leaders are making extraordinary efforts in the fight against the pandemic. In these difficult times we must be united and act responsibly. Many Presidents of Regions and Mayors have asked me to establish an exchange platform that will allow CoR members and EU local and regional leaders to share their needs, feedback and ideas and to elaborate common solutions. The Action Plan will also allow to better target local communities’ healthcare needs and to address the social and economic aspects of the pandemic and their impact on local and regional authorities”.
Cllr McCarthy has also emphasised that the outbreak and rapid spread of COVID-19 is putting public sector organisations through great challenges and great stress with local governments, public administrations, local health services particularly at the forefront of the crisis; “This is a virus with a serious impact on public health, the economy and social and political issues. Different countries, and different regions within the same country are in different scenarios but knowledge of different interventions can help those on the front line with more information and how to drive the virus back”.
Cllr McCarthy added: “The EU has over 280 regions and members of the committee of the Regions stand ready to assist in core EU activities on COVID 19 combatting such as the collection of knowledge of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, to work with the EU’s advisory panel on COVID-19, offer advice on the operation on EU Civil Protection Mechanism and offer perspective on the roll out of the European Stability Mechanism and Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative”.
The European Committee of the Regions:
The European Committee of the Regions is the EU’s assembly of regional and local representatives from all 27 Member States. Created in 1994 following the signing of the Maastricht Treaty, its mission is to involve regional and local authorities in the EU’s decision-making process and to inform them about EU policies. The European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission consult the Committee in policy areas affecting regions and cities. To sit on the European Committee of the Regions, all of its 329 members and 329 alternates must either hold an electoral mandate or be politically accountable to an elected assembly in their home regions and cities.  There are 9 Irish members in the CoR.
For further information contact:
Cllr Kieran McCarthy  087 655 3389        
Micheal O Conchuir   +32 2 282 2251