The EU must become smarter by strengthening co-operation and better exploiting new technologies if it is to meet its climate change commitments and drive green growth.
That was the shared message at a conference in Brussels by the European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions (CoR).
CoR President Markku Markkula believes rolling out the Energy Union and creating smarter cities and regions would demonstrate the benefits the EU brings to its citizens.
However he adds while the progress in energy efficiency, cutting CO2 emissions and using more renewables is “encouraging”, far more needs to be done by cities.
Mr Markkula said: “We need to plug the €250 billion (£216bn) investment gap by directing EU funds and private investment towards innovation, new technologies and new industries. Every EU region and city must share the responsibility by developing their own smart strategies, co-operating together, working with the private sector and using all funds available to build a better future.”
The CoR previously called on the Commission and Member States to make green public procurement mandatory for public authorities in the region.