How can EU policy meet the needs of cities? The EU is asking this question, because the city is essential in meeting the economic, social and environmental challenges facing Europe. There is a public consultation which will run until 26 September 2014 and you as an EU citizen are invited to take part.
An EU urban development program, called the EU Urban Agenda, is designed to help make EU policy and national policy which will help cities to play a key role in the development of the community. Consultations concerning the program of urban development are designed to be a source of opinion of national, regional and local authorities, as to what should be the objectives of the program and how it should function.
Approximately 70 per cent of the population of the EU lives in urban areas. In 30 years this figure could rise to 80 percent. As more than two-thirds of EU policies and regulations refer to cities, more and more voices are calling for a more combined approach to the subject and the combination of different levels of management. This would allow strategic planning not limited from an administrative point of view.
The main objectives of the new program aim at combating unemployment, social integration and facing the challenges posed by climate change, a greater coherence of EU policies in responding to the needs of cities and more direct involvement from cities in EU policy-making.
According to the initiators, the EU’s urban development program should take into account the objectives of the union and complement activities taking place at a national level. At a recent CITIES forum it was noted, however, that new EU rules would not be the best solution.