EUROCITIES members Barcelona, Stockholm and Zagreb outlined a number of challenges and opportunities for cities under some of the priority themes identified as part of an EU urban agenda.
Three of our members participated in a hearing on the Pact of Amsterdam on 25 January organised by the European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions, where they outlined the main challenges and opportunities for cities in three of the priority themes included in the draft EU urban agenda in different sectors.
Stockholm presented the challenges associated with sustainable land use, underlining that it is essential to preserve the principle of subsidiarity in this sector to allow cities to assess local needs and implement measures tailored to sustainable urban planning requirements.
Barcelona highlighted the mismatch between the needs of cities facing migration-related challenges and the amount of EU funding available to them.
Zagreb emphasised that cities need EU funding not only to innovate but also to help them provide services for tackling urban poverty and housing shortage.
This hearing shed light on the diversity of approaches to the EU’s future urban agenda. For the European Commission, this agenda should aim to ensure the coherence of EU policies with an urban dimension, and should unleash cities’ innovation potential to enable them to contribute to the EU’s economic growth.
The opinion of the Committee of the Regions, ‛Concrete steps towards the implementation of an EU urban agenda’, will be discussed and approved during the 2 March meeting of the commission for territorial cohesion policy and EU budget (COTER). The CoR’s plenary vote is scheduled for 7-8 April.