Time to bridge EU and China

16 September 2019

While the media plays up growing tensions between China and the West, something incredible is happening in our cities.

Cities in both regions have recognised that their goals are largely aligned: to use resources sustainably and efficiently for the benefit of their citizens; and that these goals are best met by cooperation, not conflict. There are, however, many hurdles along the way.

Our secretary general Anna Lisa Boni, flanked by luminaries from organisations including China’s National Development and Reform Commission and the World Bank Group, presented simple recommendations that would allow us to overcome these hurdles at Bridge for Cities 4.0, an event organised by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Finance Centre for South-South Cooperation (FCSSC). The event promotes the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development via the Belt and Road Initiative.

Her “key tools for cooperation” included moving from economy driven urbanisation to an approach that places people in the centre; helping cities lead the way for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals; using culture to achieve social, economic and creative outcomes; and experimenting with new public procurement strategies. You can get the full details here.

These tools result from EUROCITIES collaboration with Chinese cities through our TRANS-URBAN-EU-CHINA project. Anna added that there is a need for public funding mechanism for joint calls for European and Chinese partners, and greater support for cross-border city to city partnerships. So, are you ready to rethink city-to-city partnerships under the fourth industrial revolution? Then get started with this issue paper drafted with UNIDO, learn more about this global event here.


Anthony Colclough Eurocities Writer