Speaking on behalf of the European Committee of the Regions at the seminar on “Transition towards Sustainable and Liveable Urban Futures”, ALDE-CoR President Bas Verkerk (Mayor of Delft) delivered a clear message about the need to apply multilevel governance principles in every policy with an urban dimension. The seminar, held on 29. September, was co-organised by the JPI Urban Europe, the European Commission (DG Research and Innovation), the European Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) and the Urban Intergroup of the European Parliament. It was part of the two-day Europe Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) launch event by the JPI Urban Europe and served to present and discuss the JPI Urban Europe SRIA and its research and innovation approach in order to raise commitment of the relevant stakeholders in policy.
During the panel discussion with representatives from the European Institutions and city associations, Mr Verkerk underlined some key aspects of the future EU urban agenda saying that “the goal is better coordination of existing policies but also impact assessment of future EU initiatives”. He further pointed out that an urban agenda should also involve rural areas and smaller cities: “You need rural elements to build a good city.”
One of the main conclusions of the event was that the JPI Urban Europe Agenda arrives at a key moment because the EU institutions are currently discussing the adoption of an EU Urban Agenda. It was also noted that all these initiatives should reach the “Pact of Amsterdam” to be adopted next year under the Dutch presidency of the EU. Overall, there is a broad consensus on the relevance of data and findings to support urban policy at EU level.
Other speakers at the event included Jan Olbrycht (MEP), Lambert Van Nilstelrroij (MEP), Kurt Vandenberghe, Director, European Commission, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, Frédéric Saliez, Human Settlements Officer at UN-HABITAT Brussels Liaison, among others.