State of play of the EU Urban Agenda– meeting in Strasbourg on October 29th
During the last meeting of the URBAN Intergroup, which took place on Thursday October 29th at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the representative of the European Commission presented the state of play of the EU Urban Agenda.
The aims of the EU Urban Agenda are to involve cities in the design of the policies at EU and national level as well as to mobilise them in the implementation of the European and national policies. In this context, the work will focus on 12 key Priority Themes: jobs and skills in the local economy, urban poverty, housing, inclusion of migrants and refugees, sustainable use of land and Nature-Based solutions, circular economy, climate adaptation, energy transition, urban mobility, air quality, digital transition and finally innovative and responsible public procurement. Those themes have been selected during the consultation process and are broadly supported by Member States, cities and the European Commission. What is more, they address the major challenges faced actually by the cities and require integrated actions at different levels. Each Priority Theme will be cover by Partnership which will prepare and implement an Action Plan in the 3 years’ timeframe. The aim of the Partnership is to develop a multilevel and multi-dimensional approach. Partnership will be composed by around 15 members representing the European Commission, Member States, cities, NGOs and experts and will have 2 coordinators. During the meeting the European Commission confirmed that the first 3 Partnerships will start this year and will focus on housing, inclusion of migrants and refugees and urban poverty.
The road to Paris: Advancing climate action with sustainable urban transport
URBAN Intergroup jointly with the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) Central and Eastern Europe organised a seminar “The road to Paris: Advancing climate action with sustainable urban transport” that took place on October 20th in the morning at the European Parliament in Brussels.
This seminar, organised one month before the COP 21 UN climate talks in Paris, underlined the role of public transport in the fight against climate change. After the keynote speech about the preparations to the COP 21 from the perspective of the French government, Gilles Pargneaux, MEP and member of the URBAN Intergroup, presented European Parliament’s position for Paris conference. As the rapporteur of the EP’s resolution, which constitutes the mandate for Parliament’s delegation to COP 21, he showed two main actions to be taken in the field of transport to address climate change in cities. Firstly, he strongly encourages to promote development of the sustainable urban transport by promoting railways, trams, electrified buses, electric cars and bikes. The role of local public transport authorities and transport operators is crucial in introducing low-carbon fleets and technologies. Secondly, he pledges for the support of urban transport in developing countries.
Moreover, representative of the European Commission’s DG for Mobility and Transport presented some elements of the 2013 Urban Mobility Package, as well as possibilities of available funding for urban transport. Examples of technological solutions invented by Alstom and investments of bus transport operator in Warsaw illustrated active engagement of different actors in the transport system in reducing CO2 emissions in urban areas. In conclusion of the seminar, UITP presented its declaration on climate leadership and members’ commitments in the fight against climate change.