Ghent and Eurocities partners call for quick access to European emergency funding
The cities network Eurocities is asking European heads of state and government to provide cities with direct and rapid access to EU emergency funding. This is needed because the war in Ukraine is weighing heavily on the finances of local governments, they say. "The impact of recovery from the pandemic, high energy prices and inflation are putting heavy pressure on local governments", said mayor of Ghent (East Flanders province) Mathias De Clercq.
Flanders' second-largest city is an active member in the European network and co-wrote an open letter with Florence, Warsaw and Leipzig in order to highlight the issue with European policymakers. The statement was carried by the 12 cities on the board of Eurocities, which represents 200 cities in 38 countries. Besides emergency funding, there is also a need for long-term investments for energy transition in cities, Eurocities believes.
"The proceeds of a tax on energy companies' excess profits should go towards fighting poverty and accelerating energy transition in cities."
The cities network calls on the European Council to approve emergency measures proposed by the European Commission. These include measures such as putting a price cap on gas and taxing energy companies' excess profits. The proceeds should go towards fighting poverty and accelerating energy transition in cities.
A European summit is set to take place in Brussels on Thursday and Friday, which will focus mainly on the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis.
© BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND