5. CEMR paper on "Future of Public Services in Europe"

Recently, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions published a new position paper : ‘Strong public services through Local Government’.

Knowing that waste collection, public transport, housing and a lot of more social services are delivered to the citizens by local Government, are often the subject of EU legislation and ECJ rulings. All of this often without sufficient input from local government. CEMR wants to change this and states that ‘the capacity of local and regional government to ensure the day-to-day provision of public services whilst also financing future investments.

CEMR argues that local governments are part of the solution when it comes to delivering quality public services for all citizens. Towns, regions, states and the EU should work hand in hand to craft purposeful legislation.

CEMR spokesperson on public services, President of the County of Karlsruhe,  Christoph Schnaudigel,  states that “ the capacity of local and regional governments to ensure the day-to-day provision of public services whilst also financing investment in future services should not be considered as a problem or an exception. It is part of the solution and a major contribution to the European project .”

Public service legislation can and needs to change on several fronts. The position paper underlines the need for an EU and international public procurement regime that supports local economic growth, social value, environmental benefits and innovation.

A regulatory state aid regime at EU and international level is also necessary to allow local and regional governments organise and provide essential services. Another highlight in the position paper is the need for a comprehensive involvement of local and regional governments on relevant issues during international trade negotiations.

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