Participants in the European Summit of Mayors presented top EU decision-makers with the Barcelona Declaration: European Cities for European Politics and Democracy, which aims to strengthen cities participation in EU policymaking and European democracy. Helsinki Mayor Juhana Vartiainen was unable to attend the meeting due to a work trip, and so Deputy Mayor for Education Johanna Laisaari attended the meeting and signed the declaration on behalf of the City of Helsinki.
“This kind of collective European influence on the city-level is especially important right now ahead of next summer’s European Parliament elections, and also in light of the current global situation. It is outstanding that Helsinki is at the core of these kinds of discussions,” says Laisaari.
Several cities that belong to the Eurocities network were in attendance. In June, Helsinki was selected to serve on the network’s Executive Leadership team. This gives Helsinki better visibility in EU institutions and helps Finland’s capital keep the city dimension in the spotlight when considering EU policy, financial instruments and the preparation of EU legislation.
The Barcelona Declaration precedes the next elections to the European Parliament, which are scheduled for June 2024. A new European Commission will start operations in the autumn.