Gustavo Matos gives the witness of the presidency of CALRE 2022 to the president of the Parliament of Wallonia, Jean-Claude Marcourt, unanimously elected new president of the plenary assembly held this Friday in the Parliament of the Canary Islands
The parliaments and regional assemblies of Europe represented in CALRE agreed today in the unprecedented work carried out by the Parliament of the Canary Islands at the head of this organization during these two years with Gustavo Matos at the head of its presidency.
The course of the meetings of the Permanent Committee and Plenary Assembly held at the headquarters of the Canarian Chamber with the participation of the presidents of 17 parliaments and regional assemblies of seven EU countries -among them the president of the Spanish parliaments (Coprepa ) and president of the Assembly of Extremadura, Blanca Martín-, the president of the Parliament of Wallonia, Jean-Claude Marcourt, was elected to collect the witness of the presidency of CALRE for the year 2022.
In his speech, Gustavo Matos dedicated his first words to La Palma. “After more than two months of volcanic eruption with a great destructive capacity, transfer, on behalf of all and all the presidents of parliaments and regional assemblies represented in CALRE, our support and affection to the island of La Palma”, he said.
Next, Matos made a tour of the situation in Europe, recalling what the Union was like before the pandemic, its challenges and its priorities. “Everything changed when COVID-19 plunged the world into a health, economic and social crisis of enormous proportions,” he indicated, highlighting that the EU’s response was based on “maintaining unity in the face of diversity, addressing every aspect of the crisis with a solidary response from the commitment that all citizens have the same possibilities of access to the vaccine ”.
The president appreciated that the response to the economic crisis has gone through a temporary fund destined to finance a recovery plan, Next Generation. “The 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework and those funds represent the largest stimulus package ever financed to create a greener, more digital and more resilient Europe,” he said.
Matos opted for achieving “a fair recovery, without generating inequalities in the EU, a recovery that allows us to face the new challenges that will arise and that places citizens at the center of European policies.” Likewise, he reiterated his commitment to a greater participation of the regions in the process of redefining the EU, with a real involvement of citizens, especially youth, as an antidote against the disconnection of citizenship with the institutions.
The president of the Parliament of the Canary Islands gave as an example of cooperation between institutions of different levels the management carried out in the eruption of La Palma, with the creation of a Mixed Commission for the reconstruction, recovery and support of the island. To conclude, he highlighted the role of CALRE as a tool for the consolidation of democratic values. “Let us strengthen the ties that unite us, establish new alliances and promote a CALRE at the height of the challenges of the EU,” he said.
This was followed by Harald Sonderegger, vice president of the Chamber of Regions of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, who highlighted the “challenges that CALRE faces and the importance of its work”. It also valued the role of the regions in responding to the COVID-19 crisis and their essential work in recovery. “It is necessary to achieve a sustainable and equal recovery for all regions,” he stressed.
Next, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, president of the European Committee of the Regions, spoke of the importance of the EU strengthening its legitimacy and its link with citizens, for which he considered essential to improve democratic procedures and promote participation.
The assembly continued with the signing of the collaboration agreement between the European Parliament and CALRE to coordinate activities between both organizations and share knowledge and experiences.
CANARY ISLANDS LABEL
Gustavo Matos appreciates that in these two years of work at the head of CALRE’s presidency, he has put “the ‘Canary Islands label’ on management and offered the European vision of a southern territory.” It highlights that the Parliament of the Canary Islands “has left the flag very high in Europe in these two years despite the difficulties derived from the pandemic”.
In his closing speech, Gustavo Matos congratulated the new president of CALRE, wished him all the successes and thanked the work carried out in these two years by all the people involved in the Canarian presidency of the organization, especially the lawyer of the Canary Islands Parliament, Salvador Iglesias, and the deputy of the Cabinet of the Presidency for CALRE affairs, Jesús Falcón.