Even during summer, the ALDE Group in the European Committee of the Regions (ALDE-CoR) remains active.
During last week's summer Committee of the Regions plenary session, members of the ALDE family discussed with ALDE-CoR members about key European challenges. On the one hand, ALDE Group MEP Cecilia Wikström (Liberalerna, Sweden) highlighted how any citizen can use and benefit of petitions through the European Parliament. On the other hand, European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc joined the plenary session to launch the Clean Buses initiative, which will boost the share of clean public transport. ALDE-CoR member Ulrika Landergren supported the ALDE Commissioner: "Transport has to become greener with clean mobility measures that are technologically neutral."
Ahead of the CoR plenary session, ALDE-CoR member Michiel Rijsberman (D66, The Netherlands), who has recently being appointed as the Committee of the Regions rapporteur on energy efficiency, issued an opinion analysing the status quo of the EU's energy saving and its impact on climate change.
According to Rijsberman's opinion, Europe will need to aim higher in energy efficiency (40% in 2030) in order to meet its targets; it will not be enough to continue on the current path. Raising this energy saving target level to 2% per year from 1.5% will however generate more economic growth and more employment and will lead to lower energy imports. "A higher energy saving target would reduce the EU’s gas import of 60% and create 1.2 to 3.2 million additional jobs in Europe," the ALDE-CoR member said.
Michiel Rijsberman supports the European Commission’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive to improve the energy performance of buildings: "The cheapest energy is the one we don’t use. Energy efficiency is a source of energy in itself, inexhaustible and available everywhere. It will help local authorities to achieve climate and energy targets as they play a vital role in the energy transition."
Read more about Rijsberman's opinion on the ALDE-CoR's website.
Earlier in June, the ALDE Group in the CoR became the first delegation of the Committee of the Regions to visit Ireland to find out directly on the ground how Brexit will impact Ireland from a subnational level, teaming up with ALDE Party member Fianna Fáil for this special occasion.
Fianna Fáil teamed up with its political grouping in the European Committee of the Regions to bring to Dublin 30 representatives from cities and regions from across the EU to achieve a number of objectives of interest to Ireland, such as to identify new opportunities for trade with the EU-27 or to raise awareness of Ireland’s concerns with citizens and local media in their countries.
Read more about the meeting in Ireland on the ALDE-CoR's website.