On 16 May, Member of the European Parliament Esther de Lange (EPP/NL) exchanged views on the upcoming 2019 EU elections with EPP Members of the European Committee of the Regions at their Group Meeting.

MEP de Lange, who coordinates the campaign for the European elections for the EPP Group in the European Parliament, welcomed the recently launched EPP Grassroots Engagement, which seeks to reconnect with citizens and restore trust in the European project by listening to people on the ground.

As part of the Grassroots Engagement, EPP Members of the Committee of the Regions and the European Parliament, supported by the wider EPP family and national parties, will host EPP Local Dialogues across the EU throughout 2018 and 2019.

“Europe is not only Brussels. Europe is to be found in its regions, its cities and its villages, and that is where we should discuss both our concerns and wishes for the future of Europe. I therefore fully support the EPP Local Dialogues as a means of engaging, connecting and mobilising our citizens”, de Lange affirmed, endorsing the initiative.

She then presented recent examples from the Netherlands, where such citizens’ dialogues have already taken place this May with European, national and local EPP politicians.

Under the motto “Europe starts in your village/city/region”, the aim of the EPP Grassroots Engagement is to ensure that people’s views will be taken on board in the EPP programme for the 2019 EU elections and in the next mandate of the EU institutions.

Thanking de Lange for her committment, EPP CoR President Michael Schneider, State Secretary of Saxony-Anhalt (DE) said: “We look forward to hosting many EPP Local Dialogues in our member states and working with Members of the European Parliament on the ground; together, we can show to citizens that we are listening to them.”

Apostolos Tzitzikostas, Governor of the Region of Central Macedonia (EL) and EPP CoR Group’s political coordinator in view of the 2019 EU elections, added: “The upcoming European elections are crucial for the future of Europe. Local and regional representatives enjoy a high level of citizens’ trust by being close to people and their everyday lives. In this respect, our EPP Local Dialogues provide added value and can change the outcome of the EU elections.”
More information on the Grassroots Engagement and EPP Local Dialogues can be found here.

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