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EDP MEPs tell us why they chose to fight for Europe

"Languages, cultures, regional differences and local initiatives must be cherished because they are Europe’s strongest asset."

Decoster at CoFoE plenary discuss Migration, identity, values, lifelong learning

Decoster COFE
Renew CoR

At the penultimate session of the Conference on the Future of Europe, Renew Europe CoR President François Decoster discussed the link between life-long learning and fostering a European identity, focusing on the role of local and regional authorities in promoting European values.

François Decoster saw the plenary as a process of exchange and unique concertation in which local and regional elected representatives brought concrete proposals to favour a Europe closer to its citizens. 

François Decoster, Renew Europe CoR President and Mayor of Saint-Omer, said : "By raising education, culture and sport, we spoke about a European identity – we don’t want this identity only to be affirmed when dealing with a crisis – like now with a war at our door. We should feel European every day, every month, every year: Europe should be more present in our culture, in our education, in all our exchanges through sports and multilingualism. I spoke about our initiatives within the European Committee of the Regions to improve the relations with 1.1 million locally and regionally elected representatives through an Erasmus for locally elected representatives, a network of European councillors in our local assemblies,… to make the local representatives a real relay and contact point for Europe

Some here have said that when we, elected representatives, and citizens meet in a hemicycle we construct a new democracy. No, this democracy isn’t new, it is democracy period. It’s the democracy we Mayors or elected local officials practice every day in our municipalities, local councils,…and it’s that democracy we need to keep vibrant and that’s why the future of Europe will be made with local and regional representatives"