​The Municipality of Budapest places strong emphasis on lobbying in European institutions that large cities like Budapest at the forefront of climate protection have direct access to funds provided by the European Green Deal. That is why the city leadership approached the Presidents of the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council. The popularity and support of the letter is proven by the number of signatures; the letter has already been signed by 34 European capitals and cities, from Berlin to Vienna, from Athens to Stockholm.


The contents of the letter, and the updated list of signatories can be read below:

"Dear President von der Leyen,
Dear President Michel,
Dear President Sassoli,

Taking meaningful, measurable and sustainable action on climate change is the defining struggle of our time and a policy challenge of unprecedented scale for European and global policy-makers alike. We wholeheartedly welcome the European Commission's proposal for a European Green Deal and we fully support the ambition for Europe to become the world's first climate-neutral continent by 2050.  

The European Green Deal rightly recognizes that an effective response to the climate emergency can only happen through systemic change. Cities led by elected leaders now represent two-thirds of Europe's population, and are responsible for the bulk of its climate mitigation and adaptation efforts. The fight against climate change will be won or lost in cities.

As countless examples from recent years have shown, local governments often take the lead in climate action and realize ambitious action plans for a sustainable future. Cities are well equipped to enact policy change. Local authorities are usually faster to act and less constrained by the pressures from the fossil fuel industry than national governments.

Europe's major cities and metropolitan areas are key and willing players in the all-European climate fight and need to be empowered accordingly. We were encouraged by the European Green Deal Communication's professed intent to empower regional and local communities, as well as strengthening the urban dimension of cohesion policy with special regard to the European Urban Initiative.

While providing assistance to cities and regions that want to commit to ambitious pledges on climate and energy policies and share good practices on how to implement change locally remains critical, we need more significant support. Looking ahead to this year's crucial negotiations on the European Union's Multiannual Financial Framework, we urge the European Institutions to recognize cities' and urban areas' pivotal role in implementing strategic green policy objectives and to allocate directly accessible, city-tailored EU funds to secure those outcomes.

We advocate for new and ambitious measures and the expansion and re-design of already existing programs such as the Urban Innovative Actions and Horizon Europe that can give cities muscle to implement green policies. Our efforts can only succeed if the EU puts regulatory and financial mechanisms in place that provide the necessary means for local authorities to act. In that case, our cities can move fast to prepare, submit and implement projects on the ground.

As former Committee of the Regions President Karl-Heinz Lambertz recently wrote: „local and regional governments must be more than just allies, but central players and partners in shaping the Green Deal." We stand ready to do our share in Europe's great transition to a decarbonized economy and ask for your support to be able to deliver.

Yours sincerely,

Matúš Vallo, Mayor of Bratislava
Gergely Karácsony, Mayor of Budapest 
Zdeněk Hřib, Mayor of Prague
Rafał Trzaskowski, Mayor of Warsaw
Michael Müller, Governing Mayor of Berlin
Michael Ludwig, Mayor and Governor of Vienna
Johan Remkes, Acting Mayor, The Hague
Kostas Bakoyannis, Mayor of Athens
Anna König Jerlmyr, Mayor of Stockholm
Oļegs Burovs, Mayor of Riga
Remigijus Šimašius, Mayor of Vilnius
Mihhail Kõlvart, Mayor of Tallinn
Fernando Medina, Mayor of Lisbon
Gabriela Firea, Mayor of Bucharest
Zoran Radojičić, Mayor of Belgrade
Peter Feldmann, Mayor of Frankfurt
Jaroslav Polaček, Mayor of Košice

Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan
Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona
Mohamed Ridouani, Mayor of Leuven
Minna Arve, Mayor of Turku
Matteo Ricci, Mayor of Pesaro
Alessandro Ghinelli, Mayor of Arezzo
Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, Mayor of Gdańsk
Roland Ries, Mayor of Strasbourg
Thomas Geisels, Mayor of Düsseldorf
Tadeusz Truskolaski, Mayor of Bialystok
Jordi Ballart Pastor, Mayor of Terrassa
Ritva Viljanen, Mayor of Vantaa
Päivi Laajala, Mayor of Oulu
Ana Gonzalez, Mayor of Gijón
Lauri Lyly, Mayor of Tampere
Ulrich Maly, Mayor of Nuremberg
Pekka Timonen, Mayor of Lahti"


11 February 2020