Strong support for the continuation of the EU's Urban and Territorial Agendas
The Urban Agenda for the EU has enabled cities to contribute to the preparation of various European policies and activated the exchange of information on many topics, such as the urban circular economy. Meanwhile, the EU’s Territorial Agenda has promoted sustainable development in different types of regions. A better future for all regions and people can be achieved through closer cooperation.
There was a strong consensus on this among the Directors-General for Urban Policy and Territorial Cohesion, who met in Helsinki on 16-17 October. The meeting was organised as part of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Renewal of agendas by the end of 2020
The aim is to continue both the urban and Territorial Agendas and to improve their operation. According to the Directors-General, it is important to maintain the bottom-up approach of the Urban Agenda, while the partnerships established around different themes need more guidance and practical resources.
Even though the Urban Agenda has only operated for three years, it has succeeded in creating a new way of identifying and resolving specific urban challenges between cities, the Commission and the Member States. The ongoing assessment of the agenda was used as the basis of discussion for the first time in Helsinki.
The current Urban Agenda partnerships will end by 2021. The meeting therefore discussed Finland’s proposal for a new roadmap of the agenda. As a result of the discussion, the Directors-General decided to start specifying the proposed roadmap.
The proposed main themes of the revised Territorial Agenda are:
- a more balanced and equal Europe
- more functional regions where housing, services and transport infrastructure are in good condition and work is available, and
- a more sustainable and healthy environment that will mitigate climate change and prevent the loss of biodiversity.
The aim is to renew the agendas before the EU Ministers meeting under the German Presidency in Leipzig at the end of 2020.
Finland’s call for a joint declaration
At the meeting in Helsinki, Finland called the Member States and other parties to sign a joint declaration by cities, the Member States and the EU on boosting digital solutions in cities.
The discussions held by the Directors-General and the previous work of the Finnish Presidency on digital innovation in cities will be compiled into Presidency conclusions, which will also include follow-up measures.
Olli Voutilainen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 064 919
Juhana Rautiainen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 295 250 075
Olli Maijala, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 295 250 174