“Local development needs to be a key pillar of post-2013 policies”
At the occasion of the seminar on “Local development as a key pillar of post-2013 EU integrated territorial policies”, local and regional authorities expressed their hope to see the artificial separation between different cohesion-related funds erased so that they may truly focus on the development of all of Europe’s territories. The participants discussed about the new territorial approach presented by the European Commission in the proposals for cohesion policy regulations for 2014-2020. Special attention was devoted to the new instruments such as Community-led local development or Integrated Territorial Investments.
The seminar, held on 29 November 2011 at the European Parliament in Brussels, was organised under the patronage of the URBAN Intergroup by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) in partnership with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and the Romanian Municipalities Association. Jan Olbrycht, President of the Intergroup, along with two Vice-Presidents – Ramona Manescu and Lambert van Nistelrooij, intervened during the meeting on behalf of the URBAN Intergroup.
Address to the URBAN Intergroup by Commissioner Hahn
At a time when the importance of urban development is clear for all to see – in tackling the impact of the global economic crisis and in building a smart, sustainable and inclusive future for all – the continued interest of MEPs in urban development is hugely welcome. Our continent is one of the most urbanized in the world, with more than two thirds of the European population living in urban areas – a share that continues to grow. These areas act as the engines of our economy and as a catalyst for creativity and innovation throughout Europe. However, they are also the places where problems such as unemployment, segregation and poverty are at their most severe. It is in these urban areas that the success of the Europe 2020 Strategy and the future economic, social and territorial development of the entire European Union will be determined.
For this reason, I want to assure you that the Commission is fully committed to pursuing an increasingly ambitious urban agenda. This ambition is evidenced by several of the Commission’s proposals in the draft regulations: a much clearer focus on sustainable urban development with 5% of ERDF resources being allocated for ‘integrated actions’ in this field by each Member State; the establishment of an Urban Development Platform which will promote capacity building and exchange of experience on urban policy amongst cities; and the creation of a new tool entitled Urban Innovative Actions to explore and demonstrate radical new approaches to issues relating to sustainable urban development.
In further developing and implementing this ambitious urban agenda, the expertise and assistance of the Urban Intergroup will be vital. I look forward to the continuation of the productive relationship between DG Regional Policy and the Urban Intergroup. Together we can ensure that our urban areas are given the best possible chance to succeed.