Urban Agenda for the EU officially launched
With the informal Ministerial meeting on urban matters agreeing on the Pact of Amsterdam on 30 May 2016, the wheels of the EU Urban Agenda have now been set in motion. The main aim of this initiative is to improve the implementation of EU and national polices by getting cities involved. Indeed, when it comes to translating policies into concrete action, cities have a major role to play. at this stage, four partnerships have so far been launched. These cover air quality, housing, urban poverty and the inclusion of refugees and migrants.
Each of these partnerships will tackle following:
- Better regulation: how to improve EU legislation so that it better reflects urban needs, practices and responsibilities ?
- Better use of financial instruments: how to ensure better access to and utilisation of European funds by urban areas?
- Better knowledge exchange: How to improve the EU urban knowledge base and stimulate the sharing of best practices and cooperation between urban areas?
On the issue of urban poverty, the objective of the partnerhsip will be to reduce poverty and increase the inclusion of people in or at risk of poverty. Against this backdrop, the focus will include the spatial concentration of structural poverty in deprived areas and their regeneration. Two types of solutions will be implemented. Firstly place-based solutions, namely the regeneration of deprived neighbourhoods and secondly people-based solutions, in particular the socio-economic integration of people living in these neighbourhoods.
When it comes to housing, the challenge will be to provide housing which is of good quality and affordable. Here, the focus will therefore be on public affordable housing, state aid rules and housing policies in general.