The Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart attended the annual conference of EUROCITIES - network of major European cities - held in Prague. The cross-cutting topic at this year’s conference was to send a clear message to the new members of the European Commission who assume office on 1 December and advise them that cities have a significant role in tackling essential challenges faced by Europe, including attainment of carbon-neutrality, development of sustainable mobility and reduction of poverty.
“Poverty is not merely a socio-economic problem,” said Mayor
Kõlvart. “Poverty limits access to good education, and poor
education affects the environmental awareness of people which
has a direct impact on tackling climate change. Plus, people
with poor education are more susceptible to various extremist
ideas currently disseminated in Europe which in turn could
compromise public safety.”
Mihhail Kõlvart alongside with the Mayor of Edinburgh Frank
Ross and the Mayor of Florence Dario Nardella attended a debate
on tourism held as part of the conference. The Mayors talked
about striking a better balance between the development of
tourism and the welfare of local residents.
The challenges faced by Tallinn as a tourist destination are
very similar to those in other European cities where the number
of foreign visitors exceeds the local population manifold. The
cities need more authority and tools to regulate this domain in
order to find and maintain a balance between tourism
development and the well-being of their citizens. Tourist tax
is a commonly applied local tax in Europe which is considered
perfectly normal these days,” said Kõlvart.
EUROCITIES is the largest and most influential organisation of
major European cities with a membership of more than 145.
Tallinn is a member of EUROCITIES since 1998 and sits on its
Executive Committee since 2018.