News - UDiTE
MINISTERS ADOPT THE LJUBLIANA AGREEMENT ON THE URBAN AGENDA FOR THE EU
Attending the meeting, European Commissioner for cohesion and
reforms, Elisa Ferreira underlined the need move urban policies
towards promoting sustainable lifestyles, a key objective of the Green
Deal, that the EU Structural & Investment funds will prioritise in
the 2021-27 period. She also pointed to the importance of future
projects embracing urban-rural linkages and inter-dependencies between
urban centres and their surrounding rural peripheries in a sustainable
way. The Urban Agenda is important building block in creating synergy
between Cohesion funds and Recovery Plans as the principle of
proximity and territoriality has never been so important in the
interest of our citizens.
What does this agreement mean for local government?
- The Urban Agenda for the EU was launched in 2016 with the Pact of Amsterdam. It was the start of a completely new way of working on urban issues whereby cities of all sizes, ministries and European Commission’s directorate general gather together in thematic partnerships to discuss concrete issues such as public procurement, climate adaptation, digital transition or migrants integration.
- The Ljubljana Agreement means that the Member States, the European Commission and local and regional government commit to working on a new work programme for the Urban Agenda.
- Importantly for UDiTE, the role of smaller and medium sized cities is clearly stated with the willingness to involve them in the thematic partnerships, and to better communicate on the achievements of the urban agenda. It is also worth noting that the need for national associations of municipalities and regions in supporting municipalities to participate in the thematic partnerships is now recognised.
In 2022, the municipalities and regions will have to answer a call
for interest to join future partnerships. The Commission will bring
some dedicated support such as expertise or communication means.
Member States in particular agree to bring additional financial or
capacity to support the participation of smaller and medium sized
municipalities in the partnerships. A number of interesting new themes
have been also been added to the Agenda including : Cities of
equalities; urban food; greening cities; sustainable tourism.
With the French Presidency of the EU starting on 1st January 2022, member states have agreed to launch two new partnerships on greening cities and sustainable tourism. First, an ex-ante assessment will be carried to better define the scope, relevance of the timeline and identify key stakeholders and EU policies relevant for these two themes. Then (mid or end 2022) a call for interest should be launched to select the cities who will join thematic partnerships. For the next themes (cities of equality and urban food), the process should be launched in 2023. Watch this space.