The mayors of four Budapest, Bratislava, Prague and Warsaw have signed a “free cities” pact pledging to cooperate on issues ranging from environmental protection to urban planning and public transportation.
The signing ceremony was held at a symbolic location, the Budapest home of Central European University. All of the mayors, including Gergely Karacsony, are in opposition to their respective national governments.
Karacsony offered his city’s office in Brussels to the other members of the pact to help them lobby for more direct funding to municipalities and other autonomous bodies. The head of this representation will be former green MEP Benedek Javor. “In the past decade, a significant part of EU funds have landed at the companies of oligarchs close to power,” Karacsony said. “In Europe, more and more people are disgusted that European innovation funds finance corruption and autocracy in the region.”
Source: AP, Facebook