We make suggestions for an effective EU urban agenda in our recent statement
An urban agenda at EU level should be based on a practical, coherent and coordinated approach. It should support the implementation of joined up policies on the ground and set a framework for working with cities on policy developments with an urban dimension. These are some of the main messages in our recent statement on an EU urban agenda, developed by our taskforce 2014.
More concretely, our initial suggestions include appointing a high level special advisor or coordinator. He or she would support the commissioner for regional and urban policy in the practical implementation of coordinating policies with an urban dimension across the Commission. To ensure input from cities into EU initiatives, we should look at the impact of the various current models for city involvement and consider how to further develop and coordinate them. There must be funding available to cover travel and accommodation costs for some cities, to enable them to participate in meetings in Brussels.
Meetings with mayors and study visits to urban areas should be included systematically in commissioners’ programmes when they travel to member states. The urban forum ‘CITIES: Cities of tomorrow – Investing in Europe’, which took place on 17–18 February, set a precedent for biannual urban summits. These summits would stimulate dialogue between European, national and city government and create opportunities to join up local, national and EU urban policies.
We launched our statement at the urban forum, an initiatve of Johannes Hahn, commisisoner for regional and urban policy. A champion for cities, the commissioner wants the outcomes of the forum to feed into the further thinking on an EU urban agenda.
Our president, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, mayor of Warsaw, presented our position at our joint side event, organised with the CEMR, in the morning of 17 February. Our president also participated in the Commission’s high level panel debate in the afternoon, which focused on what an urban agenda should be and how it should be implemented.
Our event provided the local perspective on an EU urban agenda with the participation of city politicians and representatives from other urban networks. Other speakers included Daniël Termont, mayor of Ghent; Carla Rey, deputy mayor of Venice; Michal Olszewski, deputy mayor of Warsaw; and Hella Dunger-Löper, Berlin’s state secretary for European affairs.
You can find our full statement at the link below.
More details and photos from the 17-18 February forum, including a message from President Barroso, are available here.