Written by Christiaan van Lierop,
Our towns and cities are home to nearly three quarters of the EU’s population and most EU policies concern them, be it directly or indirectly.
Within the EU, a shared vision of urban development has gradually taken shape at inter-governmental level. At the same time there have been increasing calls for concrete action and the development of an Urban Agenda to give city authorities and stakeholders a greater say in the process. To help guide these discussions, the European Commission launched a public consultation following its July 2014 Communication on the Urban Dimension of EU policies. Its findings indicated broad support among city stakeholders for an Urban Agenda for the EU. The European Parliament has also prepared an own-initiative report on the issue as part of this process, which was adopted at the September 2015 plenary session.
The revised 2014-2020 Cohesion Policy framework introduced a number of new instruments intended to enhance the urban dimension of cohesion funding. With the launch of Urban Innovative Actions and the introduction of the first four urban partnerships, recent months have seen both a strengthening of the cohesion policy framework and the first concrete action towards rolling out the Urban Agenda.
Building on this momentum, the Dutch Council Presidency put forward an ambitious roadmap for the first half of 2016, which led to the signing on 30 May 2016 of the Pact of Amsterdam, a clear political commitment to deliver an Urban Agenda for the EU.
This briefing is an update of an earlier one published in March 2016.
Read the complete Briefing on ‘Launch of an Urban Agenda for the EU‘ in PDF.