“The EU Missions are a ‘new’ and ‘vital’ instrument in solving the grand societal challenges. The measures are implemented on the ground – meaning that bottom-up is the only way to reach the ambitious targets. The EU Mission experiments and demonstrations should focus on orchestrating activities to push further the frontiers of science, mastering deep technologies, and combine digital, physical, environmental, and biological innovations. We need to remember that only part of the necessary scientific and technological knowledge exists. The complex societal challenges can only be tackled through increasing RDI investments.”. Markku Markkula, President of the Helsinki-Uusimaa Region and Rapporteur for the CoR Opinion on European Missions made these remarks when presenting his opinion during a European Committee of the Regions (CoR) plenary session.

Markkula stressed that the time to act is now. He recalled that the European Commission will announce on Thursday the 100 ‘Mission Cities’ seeking to become Climate Neutral by 2030 out of the 400 applicants.

In his opinion, Markkula points out the need to allocate Mission funding to the local and regional levels for co-creating non-standard breakthroughs in many ‘stuck situations’ which too often block adequate progress in achieving new solutions and impact. The rapporteur stresses the need to review all EU financial instruments to support LRA-level Mission activities. It explains that Horizon funds are not easily accessible by regions and cities and not yet aligned enough with the new strategic objectives of the EU Missions.

Markkula also stressed that the EU Missions should be implemented through an open and participatory process, involving all relevant stakeholders at local, regional, European, and global levels. He states that citizens’ engagement in particular will be crucial for the successful implementation of the EU Missions and that the CoR is ready to be strong ally of the EU Missions.

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