Urban Agenda for the EU

  • cooperation

One of the key outputs of the Dutch EU presidency is the Pact of Amsterdam, establishing the EU Urban Agenda. The Pact will comprise the rationale, objectives, operational framework and themes of an EU Urban Agenda.

EUROCITIES EU urban agenda working group has been engaged in the developments towards an EU Urban Agenda over the past two years. EUROCITIES has contributed to the negotiations of the draft Pact between member states and the European Commission in the Urban Development Group.

The Pact of Amsterdam will be adopted on 30 May 2016 at the informal council meeting on urban development. The EU Urban Agenda objective is to strengthen the urban dimension of EU policies, to better coordinate EU policies impacting cities and to better involve cities in EU policy developments.

The draft Pact of Amsterdam outlines the following policy instruments:

  • Better regulation: to improve coordination between EU, Member States and cities; involving them in the design of policies and mobilising them in the implementation.
  • Better funding: to improve the usability, identification and the possibilities of integration of EU, national and local funds for cities.
  • Better knowledge base and knowledge exchange: to promote better collection of data and improve the knowledge base on urban development issues.

Thematic priorities

12 thematic priorities have been agreed for an EU Urban Agenda and feature in the Pact of Amsterdam: jobs and skills in the local economy; urban poverty; housing; inclusion of migrants and refugees; sustainable land use; circular economy; climate adaptation; energy transition; urban mobility; air quality; digital transition; and innovative and responsible public procurement.


The Pact of Amsterdam lists a number of existing and new tools to give an operational framework to the EU Urban Agenda. The partnerships are a new informal way of working on a limited number of themes. These bring together city representatives with Commission and member states representatives and assess current European initiatives impacting cities. Partnerships in Air quality, Housing, Urban poverty and Integration of migrants and refugees are currently being piloted.


More information on key actions and the timeline towards the Pact of Amsterdam can be found here and on the website of the Dutch Presidency.

More information on the EU Urban Agenda can be found on the European Commission website, available here.

EUROCITIES statement on the EU Urban Agenda is available here.


Mark Boekwijt

vice chair

Isabel Fienhold

EUROCITIES staff contact

Dorthe Nielsen
EUROCITIES Brussels Office
Policy director