Demands of the Association of German Cities

European elections 2024: Shaping Europe‘s future

Eleven demands to the newly elected European Parliament and the newly appointed European Commission

Both Europe and the world are in a period of transformation. Since Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and the Hamas attack on Israel, it has become increasingly evident that Europe needs to work together more actively than ever to defend the European values of human rights, freedom, democracy and the rule of law. This collaboration necessitates a clear role for Europe in the world and the strengthening of Europe‘s ability to act internally.

The transformation is being reflected on the ground, where the care and integration of refugees and the uncertainties surrounding energy supply are posing major challenges for cities. Climate change has long since arrived in Europe and calls for effective protection and adaptation measures. Digitalisation offers opportunities and at the same time requires firm guidelines to ensure that it serves people’s well-being.

These numerous challenges are making it necessary to transform our society on a historic scale. In order to safeguard Europe‘s sustainability and our democratic values in the long term, the transformation needs to be structured fairly, calling for close cooperation at every level. Only then can we effectively counter the rise of nationalism, right-wing populism and the drifting apart of society as well as hatred, violence and scepticism towards democracy.

It is both our common task and our responsibility to safeguard and shape the future of Europe. Our cities play a pivotal role in modelling the transformation, tackling challenges and fostering social cohesion. The cities are committed to upholding European values and demonstrating solidarity worldwide. In view of the upcoming enlargements and challenges in finding majorities on key issues, cities are already making a substantial contribution to the European Union‘s ability to act. Maintaining Europe‘s global acceptance in times of geopolitical tension also calls for greater acknowledgement of the role of cities as international players and the part that city diplomacy has to play in EU foreign policy as well as in international processes such as the G7.

The transformation of our society can only succeed in close collaboration with its cities. For this reason, cities need to be able to act and their perspective must be given greater consideration within the European multi-level system. This requires the continual and structural involvement of cities in European legislative and decision-making processes, for example by strengthening the role of the Committee of the Regions. That is the only way we can get people on board, defend and strengthen our democracy and organise the transition in a just manner.

The upcoming European elections could be crucial for the future of the European Union – and thus for each individual. It is about nothing less than the question of whether we can continue to live in peace, freedom, security and prosperity going forward. German cities are ready to play their part in shaping Europe‘s future. We have eleven demands to put forward to the newly elected European Parliament and the newly appointed European Commission.

Deutsche Version

Forderungen des Deutschen Städtetages zur Europawahl

Mehr über die Forderungen des Deutschen Städtetages zur Europawahl können Sie in der deutschen Langfassung der Publikation mit dem Titel "Europas Zukunft Richtung geben" lesen.

Jetzt ansehen