17 February 2022

Multilevel Governance for the Co-production of Urban Security

Multilevel Governance for the Co-production of Urban Security was the topic of the latest online event co-organised by the URBAN Intergroup and the European Forum for Urban Security (Efus) on 11 February. Jan Olbrycht, President of the Intergroup, led the discussions.


Brigitte De Deyne, International relations officer for the City of Liège, who represented Willy Demeyer Efus’ President and the Mayor of Liège, started the event with an introduction on Efus’ work – based on regular exchanges with its more than 250 member local and regional authorities from 17 EU Member States – and objectives that nourished the activities of the European Forum for Urban Security’s Security, Democracy and Cities international conference held in Nice on 20-22 October 2021. She presented Efus’ Security, Democracy and Cities Declaration, adopted during the closing session of the above-mentioned conference, which underlines the central role of cities in designing and implementing transversal security policies with mayors as one of the central figures. Moreover, signatories of the Declaration called for investing in prevention, mobilising the most adequate and agile tools and partnerships for co-production of urban security. Multilevel governance between different actors was stressed in the document with the role for the URBAN Intergroup as a key partner. Ms De Deyne called for the support of the Member of the European Parliament to implement the Declaration’s actions.

Elizabeth Johnston, Executive Director of Efus, further specified Efus’ actions and initiatives. She underlined that the definition of security constantly evolves. That is why Efus promotes a holistic approach to urban security, which involves all local actors and citizens in the co-production of policies. It considers security as a fundamental right of all people. She also expressed that both the URBAN Intergroup and Efus would share a joint interest on the topics of environment, urban transport, housing, security of senior citizens/ageing and social issues, which can be a good basis for further cooperation between the local-regional and EU level. Elizabeth Johnston also highlighted the need and utility to jointly identify tools for EU support allowing for the implementation of actions of joint interest.


Sebastian Viano, Director Europe, Euro-Mediterranean relations & External Funding at Nice Côte d’Azur metropolitan area, together with Werner Van HerleHead of the Prevention and Security Department, City of Mechelen, presented the Partnership on Security in Public Spaces of the Urban Agenda for the EU (UAEU). This partnership was set up in 2019 as one of the 14 thematic Partnerships of the UAEU. It is co-led by Efus, the City of Nice and the City of Madrid. They explained potential benefits that would come from partnerships that can involve local and regional authorities of all sizes.. The key areas presented during the event involved the reinforcement of social cohesion, the elaboration of agile training tools for local security actors and the safety of women in public spaces.


9 February 2022

Metropolitan Vision for Europe 2050 – last event

A Metropolitan Vision for Europe 2050. Resilient urban and rural transformation for a climate neutral future was the topic of the last event co-organised on January 21st by the URBAN Intergroup and METREX (Network of European Metropolitan Regions and Areas).


Jakub Mazur, METREX President and deputy Mayor of Wrocław in Poland, opened the event by underlying why the Metropolitan Vision for Europe 2050 is needed. He recalled that at the European Metropolitan Authorities (EMA) conference in Porto, last November, Elisa Ferreira, EU Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, called upon metropolitan regions and cities to come forward with proposals to address the urgent challenge of establishing a resilient and climate neutral Europe by 2050. The URBAN Intergroup of the European Parliament is an important partner to help shape this vision. Fabienne Keller, Vice-President of the URBAN Intergroup, recalled different challenges that are currently in front of the urban areas. She stressed that the level of metropolis and cities is the most efficient one to achieve ambitious climate objectives.


Henk Bouwman, Secretary General of METREX, recalled that during EU Week of Regions, METREX members started the discussion about existing examples of metropolitan projects which testimony climate adaptation. To further showcase the important role of metropolitan regions and cities, METREX has taken the initiative to answer Commission Ferreira’s call by proposing a common Metropolitan Vision for Europe 2050, including investment propositions, together with all relevant stakeholders in the field.


In her video address, Anni Sinnemäki, Deputy Mayor of Helsinki, stressed that Helsinki wants to be one of the front-runner cities in providing solutions to the fight against climate change. Decarbonisation of the heating system is the major concern as half of the city’s emissions is generated by heating. Helsinki looks at the existing solutions implemented in other cities. That is why the cooperation between cities is very important and international networks are very helpful in exchanging best practices.

Thomas Kiwitt, Planning Director, presented examples of projects implemented at the metropolitan level of Stuttgart Region. Hydrogen strategy and better accessibility and mobility were one of the several examples that climate goals cannot be achieved with isolated approaches. Cities are not an island and they need to cooperate with their surroundings. That is why metropolitan areas are the appropriate level to tackle challenges.


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