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L’Agenda de Lisbonne : lettre ouverte du CCRE

Le secrétaire général du CCRE, Jeremy Smith a envoyé, le 25 mars, une lettre ouverte au Conseil européen, dans le cadre du Conseil du Printemps. Dans la lettre, il présentait la réaction du CCRE au rapport de la Commission sur la mise en oeuvre de l'Agenda de Lisbonne.
Dear Madam, Dear Sir,
On the eve of the Spring Council, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions which brings together national associations of local and regional government in over 30 countries would like to highlight a number of key points of concern to our members in the Report from the Commission to the Spring European Council on Delivering Lisbon: reforms for the enlarged Union and in the Commission's Communication on the Draft Joint Employment Report 2003/2004.
Delivering Lisbon: reforms for the enlarged Union
At Lisbon four years ago the European Union set itself the strategic goal of building the most competitive and dynamic knowledge based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion.
CEMR reaffirm their strong commitment to the timely and effective delivery of reforms across the three dimensions of the Lisbon strategy – economic, social, and environmental. We consider urgent, however, that the strategy should now be taken forward and implemented in a more decisive manner.
Accordingly, while CEMR considers that measures taken at the European level are only part of the formulae for putting the Lisbon strategy on track, CEMR welcomes the Commission's proposal in the next financial perspectives to place implementation of the Lisbon strategy at the centre of Union action for the coming years.
Active ageing has been identified as one of the three priority areas for which swift action is needed to deliver the Lisbon strategy. This area is of great importance to our members. CEMR believes that the strategy must address more effectively the challenges arising from ageing populations if the long term sustainability of essential public services is to be secured.
CEMR also welcomes the Commission's proposal for a roadmap to guide and structure the efforts of the EU in its implementation of the strategy. It is anticipated that this roadmap could set out interim target goals, specific means and effective tools and a timetable. CEMR would welcome the active involvement of local and regional government in all stages of this process. Local and regional authorities are crucial partners in the implementation of the Lisbon Strategy and should feature in the consultation process at European and national level, on the setting of targets, and the development of means and effective tools to this end.
Draft Joint Employment Report 2003/2004
CEMR believes that reforms must continue, and be extended, on a wide range of aspects covered by the Employment Guidelines and that in order to support Europe's growth potential and increase the chances of reaching the Lisbon employment objectives in 2010, actions need to be taken to accelerate both employment and productivity growth. We believe a narrow approach to labour market reforms must be avoided as progress in the different areas of the Lisbon agenda are intrinsically connected.
In order to do so, CEMR believes that priority must be given to attracting more people to the labour market and investing more in human capital, in particular, by building comprehensive ageing strategies and by investing in lifelong learning. Effective implementation of reforms through governance must also be ensured by building partnerships that mobilise the support and participation of stakeholders including local and regional government.
CEMR would like to reaffirm the role that the European Social Fund (ESF) plays in providing support for local and regional authorities to find solutions to labour market problems. ESF is fundamental in helping individuals getting into, or closer to, the labour market and in keeping them from being socially excluded.
Furthermore, in relation to the objective of promoting a Europe based on knowledge and new information and communication technologies, CEMR believes that local and regional authorities must play an essential role in helping to deliver this key goal, ensuring the equal use and access of all citizens to these technologies.
Local and regional government have an essential role to play in contributing to the Lisbon targets. CEMR would therefore welcome the opportunity to provide detailed input to the preparations of the mid-term review of the Lisbon strategy in 2005.
Yours faithfully,
Jeremy Smith
Secretary General