Mayors and politicians from European cities met Commissioner Creţu this morning to put forward their views for an EU urban agenda.
The Dutch EU presidency is preparing to launch the Pact of Amsterdam on 30 May which will establish an EU urban agenda. The EU urban agenda should enable better coordination of EU policies with an urban dimension, and a new way of working together across different levels of government to tackle challenges and make the most of the opportunities in Europe’s cities.
Ahead of the launch of the pact, EUROCITIES mayors and politicians met Commissioner Creţu, responsible for regional policy and leading the Commission’s work on the urban agenda. The politicians reiterated many of the points we have been making throughout the development of the urban agenda, including the need for cities to be genuine partners in an EU urban agenda, and systematically and directly involved in EU policy developments that have an impact at local level.
We stressed that the EUROCITIES network has great potential to contribute to the EU urban agenda’s success, by delivering the necessary results, expertise, capacity building and political engagement through our policy work and involvement in European-funded projects.
The Dutch EU presidency is giving momentum to the EU urban agenda at the moment, and our politicians called for strong political leadership within the Commission to maintain this beyond the presidency’s mandate.
Commissioner Creţu recognised the need for an EU urban agenda to help deliver new solutions to common challenges without creating additional structures and procedures. She recognised that many challenges are concentrated in cities, such as the integration of migrants and refugees, and that cities know best what works and what doesn’t on the ground. She mentioned that the Commission is currently exploring how policies that overlap could be better coordinated, and that plans are afoot to create a new ‘one-stop-shop’ on urban matters. Overall, her message was that commitment from all levels was necessary to make the EU urban agenda a success.
For more details, please see Commissioner Creţu’s speech from the EU urban agenda discussion here.
Photo © European Union, 2016