MedCities contributed to the eighth edition of the Cities and Regions forum for International Partnerships 2023 Forum aiming at localising the Global Gateway strategy. The event, hosted from the 29th November to the 1st of December by the Committee of the Regions in Brussels, is the international forum conveying representatives of Local Authorities and international development stakeholders, including networks of local authorities, international financial institutions, and technical partners. The recognition of the importance of local authorities in dealing with the global challenges of climate change adaptation, social inclusion, and sustainable urban development led to a rich discussion on how to reinforce and assure their active participation in the Global Gateway strategy, the EU agenda for international partnerships. The Forum was organized around four primary subjects: inclusion, innovation, investments, and intermediary cities.

MedCities participated actively in the discussion on locally available financial instruments for the benefit of local authorities. Given the complexity of accessing funds, the work of the group highlighted the importance of assuring direct funding lines for LAs, as part of the EU place-based approach for funding or the IFIs strategies; of building the capacities of municipalities for the prioritisation of investments and the preparation of sound projects with detailed business models; of creating a knowledge hub on innovative funding available for LAs and accompanying them in pitching their project and most importantly of creating an enabling environment that promotes LAs access to international funding, including grants, loans, blended funding or climate finance instruments.

Ms. Clare Hart, Vice President of Ville de Montpellier speaking on behalf of MedCities as a presidency.

Decentralized cooperation and international and regional networks of local authorities can have a significant role in accompanying municipalities in this process.

The Cities and Regions 2023 Forum finalized with a crosscutting session among the working groups to identify concrete recommendations of the Forum on how to localize the EU Global Gateway strategy and a high-level discussion on these recommendations with core EU institutions.

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