URBAN Intergroup meeting in Strasbourg – September 10th
On Thursday 10th of September the URBAN Intergroup members and partners met at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The main aim of this meeting was to have a follow-up discussion after the plenary vote on the INI report “Urban dimensions of EU policies”. Members and partners debated about the next steps towards the EU Urban Agenda. Ms Kerstin Westphal, EP rapporteur, thanked all the shadow rapporteurs who worked on this dossier and briefly presented its key elements. She underlined that the main goal of EP’s report is to put the Urban Agenda into the European policies.
URBAN Intergroup members believe that thanks to this report cities will be earlier involved in policy making and that the European Commission will better coordinate urban dimension’s issues in its different services. However, during the discussion some droughts have been expressed concerning the political lead of the EU Urban Agenda inside the European Commission. Jan Olbrycht reminded that the URBAN Intergroup is still waiting for the official reply from the EC to the Written Question concerning the coordination within the Commission on the urban dimension. In conclusion of the meeting, members agreed that the Intergroup will send a letter to the Luxembourg and the Dutch Presidency asking for clarification about the future actions which will be taken in order to develop the EU Urban Agenda.
During the next meeting of the Intergroup, on October 29th in Strasbourg, DG REGIO will present State of play of the EU Urban Agenda. Probably on November 26th the Representative of the Dutch Presidency will present the next Presidency’s priorities.
URBAN Intergroup meeting in Strasbourg – June 11th
On Thursday, June 11th the URBAN Intergroup held its monthly meeting in Strasbourg. This month participants discussed the outcomes of the two-day Informal Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Territorial Cohesion and Urban Matters which took place in Riga on Tuesday and Wednesday (9-10th June).
Discussions focused on the Riga Declaration “Towards the EU Urban Agenda” adopted yesterday. Participants wondered what it will bring about and what will be its actual impact on shaping of the EU Urban agenda. The European Parliament’s position on the topic of the EU Urban agenda was also raised and discussed vividly.
More information about the Informal Meeting and media coverage can be found on the webpage of the Latvian Presidency.
Joint EMI – URBAN survey on the urban dimension of cohesion policy
The negotiation about the shape of the future cohesion policy after 2013 is entering the decisive phase. The specific regulations for structural funds and the Cohesion Fund are currently under discussion at the European Parliament and in the Council; urban related issues are one of the topics of the debate. You can join the discussion by participating in the joint questionnaire of the URBAN Intergroup and the European Metropolitan network Institute (EMI).
To maximize the input from cities, EMI and the URBAN Intergroup invite you all to fill out this digital questionnaire. Have your say and start now (it will only take 5-10 minutes)! Deadline of the questionnaire is 31 May 2012.
RURBAN – Partnership for sustainable urban-rural development – is a preparatory action discussed and agreed among members of the URBAN Intergroup and proposed for the 2011 budget by the Intergroup’s President Jan Olbrycht. The aim of this preparatory action is to develop some partnership models for towns and cities and rural areas surrounding them, to achieve better cooperation between different actors in developing and implementing common urban-rural initiatives based on the integrated approach. The action is implemented in the years 2011 and 2012. Over this period, common challenges and potentials will be identified, the existing urban-rural partnerships inEuropewill be reviewed and best practice examples will be selected. The end result of the action should be a practical guide for un urban-rural partnership that could be used in the next programming period of the cohesion policy after 2013.
Reaction to the Toledo Declaration
Jan Olbrycht, in his capacity as the President of the URBAN Intergroup, sent a letter to all the EU ministers responsible for regional policy expressing the Intergroup’s position on the recently agreed Toledo Declaration. In this letter, the members of the Intergroup call among other things for a stronger urban dimension of the cohesion policy after 2013 and for enough financial resources for it. They suggest also for the integrated approach to be made a binding condition for granting the structural funds assistance and support the experimental and innovative actions inEurope’s towns and cities.