At its first plenary of 2021, the European Committee of the Regions will discuss with Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, Regional Director for Europe of the World Health Organization, the progress and challenges of the vaccination campaign against Covid-19 and the potential role that regions and cities should play. At the same occasion, Ana Paula Zacarias, Secretary of State for European Affairs of the Portuguese Republic, will present her country's priorities for its six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union. Local leaders will also discuss with European Commissioner Elisa Ferreira the priorities of the new cohesion policy and the economic recovery plans. The presence of European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel will offer the opportunity to discuss the importance and challenges of recovery of the cultural and creative sectors. Pedro Silva Pereira, Vice-President of the European Parliament, and Christa Schweng, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, will discuss the European Citizens' Initiative.