The COVID-19 pandemic is having substantial repercussions in the EU. In addition to the human and social cost, economies and public finances are under considerable strain.
All levels of government are mobilised to mitigate its effects, starting by the closest one to citizens, the local and regional level.
The Committee of the Regions asks for this study with the purpose of assessing the impact of the pandemic at regional and local level on the economy and business/SME, the public finances and investment, the social services and employment, the education, the science policy and research, the sustainability and the demography.
Furthermore, the study aims to:
- assess the role of cities and regions in managing the crisis,
- assess the role of the European Semester in guiding the recovery measures, and ensuring the implementation of the SDGs;
- review of the EU's response to the crisis with particular attention to measures affecting the local and regional level;
- provide a first reality check from the regional and local angle on EU policy response measures for economic recovery;
- propose policy recommendations, also based on the feedback collected via the CoR COVID-19 platform.
The study is one of the building blocks of the report for the SOTREG (State of the European Union: the view of regions and cities).
The study is based on desk/literature research and interviews with a representative selection of officials at regional, local, national and European level, their representative associations, as well as experts from think tanks and academia. The study also uses Eurostat data, as well as available CoR resources such as the CoR Covid-19 platform, which includes the CoR commissions bulletins and a wealth of up-to-date information on national, regional and EU policies and measures taken during the crisis.
The study was conducted in consortium with Spatial Foresight GmbH and OIR GmbH and coordinated by Kai Böhme.