URBAN Intergroup – EUROCITIES working dinner
On Wednesday, 25th February the URBAN Intergroup and EUROCITIES held a working dinner “An EU urban agenda – how to make it work”. The event was organised to gather members of the URBAN Intergroup and politicians from Europe’s cities, members of EUROCITIES network.
Lambert van Nistelrooij, Vice-President of the URBAN Intergroup and Karine Daniel, deputy Mayor of Nantes and President of EUROCITIES welcomed all guests and opened the debate.
“Cities should be in heart of the EU urban agenda. They should insist and remain the most important actor of this new dimension in the EU policies. Their representatives should stand up, verbalise their needs and make proposals to the European Commission. Now is the right moment”, said Lambert van Nistelrooij in the opening speech.
Debates concentrated on five themes, which undoubtedly are vital to all European cities, including climate change and air quality, sustainable urban mobility, employment, investments and income generation in cities, and social investment and innovation. Since the launch of discussions on an EU urban agenda at the Urban Forum organised by the European Commission one year ago, many events have been organised and the general debate has focused on the broader governance perspectives regarding an urban agenda. The URBAN Intergroup and EUROCITIES joint dinner provided an opportunity for members of the European Parliament and local leaders to meet, and reflect on the next steps of an EU dimension in European policies.
“The European Commission needs a strong signal from cities, stating exactly what they need. The moment has come and your output will be crucial to further developments of the EU urban agenda. However, we need to develop a strong method on proofing of urban policies and this can only be done by listening and learning from cities”, said Nicola De Michelis, Director in charge of Inclusive Growth, Urban and Territorial Development and Northern Europe in the Regional and Urban Policy Directorate General
Anna Lisa Boni, Secretary General of EUROCITIES concluded table discussions and called present representatives of cities to take action now and make a change in this new legislation to come.
More than forty people took part in this first working dinner since the re-launch of the URBAN Intergroup in December and the outcome of discussions is very positive. We are looking forward to organising more of fruitful debates within the URBAN Intergroup.