Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments


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Sustainable territorial and local development

EU Urban Agenda - 18.02.2014

A wrap-up of the seminar “An EU Urban Agenda - for and with cities”
How to strengthen the urban dimension of EU policies through a "European Urban Agenda"? The European Commission opens discussions and stands ready to work hand in hand with local authorities and their representative associations in this endeavour.
 
This message was made clear by European commissioner for regional and urban policy, Johannes Hahn, at a seminar entitled "An EU Urban Agenda - for and with cities", on 17 February 2014, in Brussels. The seminar was broken down into two sessions, one on the purpose and desired impact of such an agenda from a local perspective, the other on its priorities.
 
While addressing the audience in the first session, Johannes Hahn said: “To date, one way or another, most of EU policies deal with urban issues. For that reason, we feel that greater coordination is needed between EU policies. It is time we all take a stance on what this agenda should include. The answers you give will be a signpost for the next European Commission.”
 
CEMR president and mayor of Almere (Netherlands), Annemarie Jorritsma, said: “We should not keep thinking the city in its administrative borders. A future EU urban agenda has to take into account the interdependencies of cities and their surroundings. It should also facilitate all types of cities - small, medium-size and large cities - and closely involve them in the policy making process in relevant subjects and areas.
 
The second session saw very positive exchanges of information and discussions on the priorities for an EU urban Agenda. The mayor of Santander (Spain) and president of the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP), Iñigo de la Serna, indicated that the EU urban agenda should not be synonymous with new piece of legislation. It should remain simple and flexible. These comments were echoed by the deputy leader of East Renfrewshire, member of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), Tony Buchanan, who stressed the need to collect and make available sufficiently detailed data on the ground enabling better decision-making at the EU level.
 
Finally, the deputy mayor of Venice (Italy) and vice-president of CEMR Italian section (AICCRE), Carla Rey, called for the setting up of indicators for an effective monitoring of the urban agenda and to see if it is heading in the right direction.
 
The seminar "Urban Agenda of the EU - and for the cities" was organised by CEMR and EUROCITIES, as part of the event "Cities of tomorrow - Investing in Europe" organised by the European Commission, on 17 and 18 February 2014.

Additionnal documents:

CEMR first contribution to an EU Urban Agenda
Urban rural partnership: CEMR survey on integrated territorial development

All the pictures of the seminar
 
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