European cities are fully committed to improving air quality, as it is very important for the health and quality of life of our citizens. While we constantly take local action to promote cleaner air, many factors affecting air pollution are outside of our control. More ambitious national and European policies are needed to make real progress. The proposed revision of the National Emissions Ceilings (NEC) Directive can facilitate this as the EU instrument to guide member states efforts on air pollution. The Commission proposal should be strengthened to reduce background concentrations of pollution and to reduce overall air pollution to levels that are within the limit values of the Ambient Air Quality Directive, especially for particulate matter (PM).