Event on intergartion of refugees in European cities
The URBAN Intergroup jointly with the European Investment Bank (EIB) organised a conference “How Europe’s towns and cities can address current refugee crises?” The event took place on Wednesday April 6th in Brussels’ EIB Office.
In the welcoming speech, Mr Mikołaj Dowgielewicz, Permanent Representative of the EIB to the EU, stressed that the EIB’s aim is to trying to help Members States and cities to handle in the most appropriate way investments needed to respond the unprecedented refugee’s crisis. Jan Olbrycht, President of the URBAN Intergroup, explained that “we need to reflect about the current situation EU cities are facing, but also about the evolution of the whole migration process in the future. Moreover, we should think about the instruments to solve immediately the most urgent problems, and what should be changed in the functioning of the cities.”
The first session of the event focused on the integration of refugees from the EU institutions’ perspective. Representatives of the DG Migration and Home Affairs and of the DG Regional and Urban Policy from the European Commission presented the available instruments to tackle the crisis and possibilities to use them. It has been underlined that from the beginning of the refugee’s crisis, European cities showed great generosity to welcome migrants.
The aim of the second session was to present the issue of refugee’s integration from the European towns and cities perspective. Lambert van Nistelrooij, Vice-president of the URBAN Intergroup, who moderated this part of the seminar, stressed that mayor’s are at the political lead in hosting refugees. CEMR representative drew attention to the fact that the EU institutions and Members States need coordination to better distribute refugees in the whole territory, between big but also small and medium size European cities. EUROCITIES representative presented the main points of its recent report on refugees’ perception and their integration in cities, as well as EUROCITIES statement on asylum in cities. At the end of the meeting, the representative of the city of Amsterdam presented the (issue of the) inclusion of migrants and refugees in the EU Urban Agenda partnership.
In conclusion, Jan Olbrycht noticed that “we are now observing just the beginning of a long-term migration process in the European Union”. The European institutions must therefore start the rethinking of its statistics and reviewing its policies for the future.
Launching event- Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda
The URBAN Intergroup co-hosted a conference “Transition towards sustainable and liveable urban futures” which took place on Tuesday September 29th at the European Parliament in Brussels. During the event Joint Programming Initiative URBAN Europe launched Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda.
Lambert van Nistelrooij, Vice-President of the URBAN Intergroup, in his conclusions underlined that the event was a “very important initiative” especially in the context of the ongoing works on the EU Urban Agenda. He invited JPI Urban Europe to organise in the future at the European Parliament another meeting to show concrete effects of the implementation of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda.
This event was co-organised with JPI Urban Europe (Member State-led initiative set up in 2010 to strengthen European research and innovation in the field of urban development), STOA (European Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment unit) and DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission.
Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) has been developed by JPI Urban Europe “with the ambition to set a scene for and ensure its contribution to a new urban research and innovation paradigm. The SRIA tackles the complexity of urbanisation by bridging the innovation space from strategic research to implementation. It promotes new ways to facilitate urban transition towards sustainable, resilient and liveable urban areas.” JPI Urban Europe
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.
URBAN-UITP seminar on Energy Efficiency and Urban Transport Systems – 4 March 2014
URBAN Intergroup organized jointly with the International Association for Public Transport seminar on Energy Efficiency and Urban Transport Systems on March 4th in Brussels.
The main goal of the seminar was to better understand the current and future energy and transportation challenges in cities and to discover what practical actions cities and operators (Warsaw Metro, STIB-MIVB) undertake in order to make the urban environment more energy-friendly. Moreover, we discussed necessary political actions in the area of public transport, energy sustainability, climate change and urban life.
URBAN-UITP seminar on Energy Efficiency and Urban Transport Systems
“We should be more smart, more green and we should create jobs” – with these words Lambert van Nistelrooij, Vice-President of the Intergroup, concluded the URBAN Intergroup’s and International Association for Public Transport’s seminar which was held on 4th March in Brussels. Apart from typical transport problems of urbanized areas, the CO2 emission was one of the significant aspects of the discussion, bringing us to a point that partnership in developing public transport is one of the key factors of European success in implementing Europe 2020 strategy.
Joachim Zeller, member of the URBAN Intergroup, said that urban transport is one of the priorities of European Regional Development Fund. “The members of the European Parliament and especially members of the URBAN Intergroup worked hard during the negotiations of the all structural funds regulations for the programming period 2014-2020. Now, the last step of implementation of the possibilities offered by the European founds is up to the countries governments and local politics”-he added.