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The fifth Liberal Mayors Summit, organised by Renew Europe Group in the European Committee of the Regions (Renew Europe CoR), discussed the future of mobility and how cities can benefit from micro mobility and the sharing economy on 25 October at the ALDE Party Congress in Athens.
Chaired by Begoña Villacís, Deputy Mayor of Madrid, our growing network of Liberal Mayors, represented this time by 16 Mayors from 10 different countries, discussed the future of mobility. The Summit started with a keynote intervention by Remigijus Šimasius, Mayor of Vilnius.
He argued that many cities see micromobility as a challenge while it is, in fact, a huge opportunity and that cities, regardless of their size, face the same mobility issues:
“One of the first cities in Europe to create a public city data platform, Vilnius has implemented a radical open data policy. This made municipal data accessible to businesses and citizens. Municipal data pertaining to finances, public procurement, real estate, transport and much more is readily available. New solutions based on this open data policy has improved the way our transport system works. This leads to the citizens, service providers and the municipality as being the main beneficiaries of mobility. Citizens of Vilnius are for example the most satisfied in Europe among all EU capitals, businesses go from idea to launch within days (Uber had its fastest launch in the world in Vilnius).”
Margrethe Vestager, European Commission Executive Vice-President-designate for a Europe fit for the Digital Age, joined the debate to discuss her new portfolio, connectivity, and rising populism. She said:
“I envy the hands-on experiences of Mayors. One of the Mayors I admire the most is Bart Somers, Mayor of Mechelen. We should all learn from him”, referring to Renew Europe CoR President’s successful policies of integration and inclusiveness.
The European Commissioner was also presented with a copy of the Group’s book on what makes a city liberal, which came out of our 2016 Liberal Mayors Summit, setting out principles and what actions liberal Mayors should take.
The participants of this year’s Liberal Mayors Summit were Laurent Hénart (Nancy, France), Dario Hrebak (Bjelovar, Croatia), Remigijus Šimasius (Vilnius, Lithuania), Paul McAuliffe (Dublin, Ireland), Pawel Czulinski (Twardogora, Poland), Orla Leyden (Roscommon District, Ireland), Madelaine Jakobsson (Nordmalings Municipality, Sweden), Ivan Gulam (Pirovac, Croatia), Francesco Vanderjeugd (Staden, Belgium), Mart Vorklaev (Rae Municipality, Estonia), Rait Pihelgas (Mayor of Järva Municipality, Estonia), Peter Gysbrechts (Putte, Belgium), Vincent Chauvet (Autun, France), Urmas Sukles (Haapsalu, Estonia), Boris Miletić (Pula, Croatia) and Daniel Berg (Budapest 2nd district, Hungary).
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