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“Europe needs more local responsiblity and self-government to exit crisis”

We cannot just adopt rapid and hasty solutions to the crisis, as the last thing we need is more bureaucratic centralism; what Europe needs is more local responsibility and self-government in order to truly solve this crisis.

Such was declared by Wolfgang Schuster, president of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and mayor of Stuttgart, at a session on the financial crisis and its impact on local and regional authorities, organised by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.

We need to develop a new culture of political cooperation,” explains Schuster.  “Indeed, youth unemployment, which currently affects seven million young people in Europe, climate change, energy, immigration and demographic change are all fields in which coordinated action and partnership is needed between all tiers of government as well as citizens, scientific experts and economists.

The session on the crisis was organised in the context of the 22nd plenary session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, which took place from 20 to 22 March 2012 in Strasbourg, France.  Other topics discussed include trans-border cooperation, Roma inclusion, regional governance and local democracy.