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Mayors Ask EU for Direct Access to Covid Recovery Funds

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.10.15.

The mayors of more than 50 European localities have petitioned the European Union to commit to bigger CO2 emissions cuts over the next decade, and to facilitate this aim by providing cities with direct access to Covid-19 recovery funds, a letter released by the Budapest Mayor’s Office on Thursday showed.

In the letter addressed to the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, the mayors said the bloc should commit to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels.

Cities that commit to an even deeper cut of 65 percent, they said, should receive direct funding as part of the EU’s Covid-19 recovery strategy.

Coronavirus - Karácsony: Budapest Has No Access to Gov't Tourism Support Scheme
Coronavirus - Karácsony: Budapest Has No Access to Gov't Tourism Support Scheme

The mayor of Budapest on Thursday criticised the Orbán government, saying that the capital city that would need the most support for reviving its ailing tourism sector, has no access to the Kisfaludy tourism development fund. According to the Hungarian Tourism Agency, Budapest has received no funding because its tourism sector was believed “to recover” […]Continue reading

The localities are asking the bloc to help fund the development of public transport networks and green infrastructure, as well as building renovations, with a view to advancing the economic recovery. The EU’s recovery plan should also serve to boost emissions cuts, the letter said.

Funding should be concentrated in areas where it is most needed in pursuit of a “green and fair” recovery, they added.

In the featured photo illustration: Budapest mayor Gergely Karácsony. Photo by Tamás Kovács/MTI