Report from the Commission to the Council on the Urban Agenda for the EU
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The Pact of Amsterdam, agreed by the Member States of the European Union (EU) in May 2016, has been prepared in close cooperation with the Commission. It establishes the Urban Agenda for the EU which is a historic step on the path towards a closer association of cities to the development of EU and national policies. It gives an opportunity for cities to come up with concrete actions in favour of a better regulation, better funding and better knowledge of EU and national policies. This is an innovative working method putting multi-level governance in practice, the agenda being jointly steered by all involved partners on a voluntary, inclusive and equal basis. Twelve issues which are particularly important for urban development have been identified and will be addressed in an integrated way. In June 2016, the Council of the European Union confirmed the importance of the Urban Agenda for the EU and called on the Commission and EU Member States to fully engage in its implementation.
The Council conclusions on the objectives and priorities of the EU and its Member States', which has been adopted for the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), present some key features for urban development. They call for an integrated and place-based approach, together with a long-term vision, which is necessary in order to promote well-managed, socially inclusive and safe, resilient, resource-efficient and environmentally sustainable as well as economically prosperous cities of all sizes. The Urban Agenda for the EU is fully in line with this.
Cities are important drivers of economic growth in the EU. It is in cities where most citizens live, where the biggest share of the Gross Domestic Product is generated, where a large part of EU policies and legislation are implemented and where a significant share of EU funds is spent. In addition, cities are actors of open innovation, enabling multi-level, multi-dimensional and multi-sectoral interactions between different stakeholders involved in the co-creation, co-design and co-implementation of integrated and innovative solutions.
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