URBAN Intergroup welcomes the New Leipzig Charter
Members and partners of the URBAN Intergroup learned more about the New Leipzig Charter and the Implementation Document during last online seminar organised on Friday 15 January.
Fabienne Keller, Vice-President of the URBAN Intergroup, welcomed all the participants and recalled that the 2007 Leipzig Charter focused on the promotion of integrated and sustainable urban development. The recently published document emphasises “the transformative power of cities.”
Fabienne Keller underlined that many cities in Europe have already been experimenting ambitious environmental policies and that those initiatives must be financially encouraged by European programmes. “It is essential to encourage the sharing of experience and dialogue of the European cities” – she added.
Tilman Buchholz from the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community, representing the German EU Council Presidency, started his presentation by recalling that the New Leipzig Charter and the Implementation Document have been adopted during the Informal Ministerial meeting on Urban Development on 30 November 2020. There, Member States showed very high commitment, not only in improving those two official documents, but also in translating them into reality.
The document identifies three spatial levels of European cities with equal focus and strong interlinkages between them: neighbourhood (particular attention: neighbourhoods with complex challenges), local authorities in their specific national context (as steering and coordinating entity, link between neighbourhood and functional area) and functional areas (network of functional interdependencies, reflecting the daily life of people).
European towns and cities are waiting for the EU long-term budget
The URBAN Intergroup held an online seminar on the “Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 and Next Generation EU – State of play. What is at stake for local and regional authorities?” on Friday November 27th between 9:00 and 11:00.
Fabienne Keller, Vice-President of the URBAN Intergroup, welcomed all the participants by reminding that the MFF negotiations is a crucial moment because we define the EU budget for the next seven years. Currently it is even more crucial due to the crises that we are facing and an unprecedent Recovery Fund that should help European economies to recover. “Communities and cities in Europe expect a lot from European solidarity. We are aware that for example difficult neighbourhoods in our cities are particularly affected by the health crises. Pre-existed precariousness had exacerbated, such as difficulties in access to employment, housing or education. We must assure that local authorities, cities will benefit from European solidarity through the EU budget and recovery plan!” – she added.
Andreas Schieder, Vice-President of the URBAN Intergroup, in his introductory remarks underlined some elements of the MFF and Recover package. He highlighted the importance of the Recover and Resilience Facility, which aim is to give the answer to social and economic consequences of the COVID crises. He mentioned as well the rule of law mechanism, which is currently the most discussed issue, and the idea on new own resources of the EU budget.
“We all know that urban areas are in a specific situation. Economic and social crises are particularly effecting urban areas and local economies. Therefore, the EU funding is extremely important to support cities in facing all the challenges. Today, cultural industry or truism are strongly effected by lockdown and that is why Recovery and Resilience funding is so needed” he insisted.