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A laboratory on the Urban Agenda for the EU organised by Perspective

On 24 April, is organising a “laboratory” on the Urban Agenda for the EU, as part of its urban policy remit under the Belgian presidency.

This exchange event, moderated by the European Urban Knowledge Network (EUKN), will bring together around 80 representatives of different levels of governance: Member states, regions, cities, European institutions and all other stakeholders involved in the Urban Agenda partnerships.


What is the Urban Agenda for the EU?

The Urban Agenda for the EU, launched in the wake of the Amsterdam Pact in 2016, is an initiative by the European Commission, member states and European cities to tackle urban development challenges. It enables cities to influence the European decision-making process by working directly with the European institutions and member states on specific issues. This tool enables multi-level cooperation and governance by setting up thematic partnerships involving players at different levels.

These are in particular the three objectives of these partnerships:

  • Improving regulations to take better account of the needs of cities in European policies;
  • Promoting exchanges between urban authorities, member states and the European Commission;
  • Facilitating access to European funds for European towns and cities of all sizes.

Partnerships and the Brussels-Capital Region:

Since 2016, 18 partnerships have been formed on a variety of themes, including housing, energy transition and sustainable land use. The Brussels-Capital Region has participated in two partnerships: “urban poverty” and “security in public spaces”, and is currently a member of two other partnerships: “greening cities” and “sustainable tourism”. These partnerships provide an opportunity to explore these themes further and to team up with other cities, regions, member states and European institutions to develop an action plan with measures to be taken at European level.

The objectives of the laboratory on the Urban Agenda for the EU:

In 2021, the Ljubljana Agreement launched a new phase of the Urban Agenda. Since then, concrete measures have been taken to renew it, with the common objective of making it more impactful.

Belgium continues on that path and is working with the EUKN to produce a study on the impact of EU policies and regulations on the land-use policies pursued by towns and cities. The initial findings of this study will be presented and discussed during this laboratory on 24 April 2024. The consolidated conclusions will be presented at the intergovernmental meeting of general directors for urban affairs on 26 June.

This study and laboratory will also make it possible to discuss, identify and assess the potential of the Urban Agenda and intergovernmental cooperation to support the implementation of these EU regulations and policies with an impact on the land-use policies pursued by towns and cities.