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Latvijas delegācija Monsā, Beļģijā

At the 10th European Summit of Regions and Cities in Mons, Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Inga Bērziņa, highlighted the challenges faced by Latvian municipalities and regions in the face of various threats, shared good practices, and discussed future needs. She also congratulated attendees on the 30th anniversary of the European Committee of the Regions.

"Strengthening resilience to natural and man-made disasters is crucial across all levels of government: local, national, and within the European Union (EU). The EU's climate change strategy underscores the need to enhance our capacity to prepare for and respond to future climate-related disasters. In addition to climate change, we are confronted with a full-scale war that is encroaching dangerously close to our borders, necessitating astute and critical solutions at the municipal and regional levels. The development and security of the EU's eastern border represent a shared priority for the EU. Consequently, these regions require support at the EU level both currently and within the framework of future cohesion policies. EU territorial cooperation plays a vital role in bolstering the resilience of territories, including through initiatives such as the INTERREG programmes, which foster and fortify collaboration among individual regions along external borders," remarked Minister Inga Bērziņa during her address.

During the summit, Minister I. Berzina held meetings with President Vasco Alves Cordeiro of the European Committee of the Regions and Walloon Prime Minister Elias di Rupo. Discussions in both meetings underscored the significance of Cohesion Policy's future and emphasized the necessity of delivering focused assistance for the advancement of the EU's Eastern border regions, thereby addressing pertinent security concerns.

The Mons Declaration, adopted during the summit, reaffirmed the commitment to forging a stronger, fairer, and more resilient Europe alongside its regions and local authorities. It underscored the vital role of cohesion policy and emphasized the necessity of respecting the unique circumstances of various territories.

The 10th European Summit of Regions and Cities offered a comprehensive review of pressing concerns for policymakers and citizens alike. Topics included sustainable development, the imperative of ensuring social, economic, and territorial cohesion, the trajectory of municipalities and the EU, encompassing enlargement efforts, and navigating the challenges brought forth by the war in Ukraine.