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Shaping the future of Europe’s cities - 30/07/2014

View of the city of Stockholm © EU

How can EU policy best cater for the needs of cities? The EU wants to hear your views.

Cities have a key role to play in meeting the economic, social and environmental challenges facing Europe. The EU's planned urban agenda aims to ensure that European and national policies support them in this,

The EU is holding a public consultation on the urban agenda so that interested parties - including national, regional and local authorities - can give their views on the objectives, and how it could function. The consultation runs until 26 September 2014.

Around 70% of EU citizens live in urban areas, and this is set to grow to 80% by 2050. Given that over two thirds of EU policies and legislation affects towns and cities, calls are growing for a more joined-up approach to bring together different levels of governance. This would enable strategic planning to be done across administrative borders.

Why does the EU need an urban agenda?

Making EU policies more responsive to cities' needs is crucial to achieving key objectives - set down in the Europe 2020 strategy - on issues like unemployment, climate action and social inclusion.

The 2 main aims of the urban agenda so far are:

  • better coordination and coherence of EU policies to reflect cities' needs
  • stronger and more direct involvement of cities in EU policy-making.

Defining the scope and focus

The urban agenda should reflect the EU’s overall objectives and must complement national policies. The recent CITIES Forum sent a clear message that new EU rules were not the preferred solution.

The urban agenda should provide a working method for tackling the key challenges facing Europe’s cities, and promote exchanges of best practice to help the development of cities and metropolitan regions.

Press release - shaping a future EU urban agenda

Q&A - Urban agenda and the urban dimension of EU policies

Commission Communication - The urban dimension of EU policies

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