Presentation of the State of European Cities Report – meeting in Brussels on September 6th
In introduction, Paulius Kulikauskas, Chief of the UN-HABITAT Office for Europe and European institutions, briefly presented the cooperation between UN-HABITAT and DG REGIO in drafting this joint report. As he mentioned, the report marks an important milestone in demonstrating how the experience of the EU could be shared with the spirit of the New Urban Agenda with other parts of the world.
Norms and standardisation in relation to cities – meeting in Strasbourg on July 7th
During the last meeting of the URBAN Intregroup, which took place in Strasbourg on 7 July, Mr Hilmar von Lojewski from the German Association of Cities, raised the issue of norms and standardisation in relation to cities.
In the introduction, he shortly explained what is a standard and what does standardisation mean. He stressed at the same time that standardisation is not only a technical issue but political as well. Moreover, standards attempt to be compulsory. Example of standard “sustainable development in communities” and standards on Smart Cities showed that very often European indicators such as The Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities (RFSC) or global indicators like those linked to Sustainable Development Goals are not taken into account. During the discussion it has been mentioned that differentiation between standards for products and services is needed as soon as standards have impact on public budget.
In conclusion, participants agreed that careful monitoring of standardisation processes in relation to cities is needed and standards should be understood from the political perspective. MEPs stressed that in the near future, it will be necessary to check the indicators for example (Which kind of indicators do we use? Are they European? Do they take into account SDGs?), while the EC will present a performance based budget.