There is an amazing amount of documents, so below is a brief summary of what has happened, what is going on, and future plans with regard to the Urban Agenda for the EU and its working group on housing. IUT is a member of this group and its document are available here. The Urban Agenda for the EU (available in 5 languages here) – pact of Amsterdam provides a good overview.
The Urban Agenda strives to involve Urban Authorities in achieving three things:
- Better Regulation (to avoid EU legislation having conflicting impacts and difficulties at implementing at local level).
- Better Funding (as applications can sometimes be administratively burdensome, and the EU aims to improve accessibility and simplify funding opportunities) and
- Better Knowledge (that is enhanced urban policy knowledge and exchange of good practice between countries).
The Urban Agenda for the EU will be taken forward by Member States together with the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions(CoR), the European Economic and Social Commttee (EESC), the European Investment Bank (EIB), representatives of European Urban Authorities and “other relevant stakeholders” (IUT is in this group, representing the interests of tenants).
The Urban Agenda for the EU will rely on the principle of an integrated approach and will in addition to those mentioned above make use of existing European policies, instrument, platforms and programmes such as the opportunities offered by Cohesion Policy, Urban Innovative Actions (URBACT), ESPON, the “Covenant of Mayors”, Civitas 2020, RFSC (Reference framework for Sustainable Cities),and the European Urban knowledge network EUKN. It will (also) make full use of the European Innovation Partnership “Smart Cities and Communities” as established by the Commission.
“The objectives and scope is described in the full document, but importantly; The urban agenda for the EU aims to realise the full potential and contribution of Urban areas toward the objectives of the Union and national priorities in full respect of subsidiarity and proportionality principles and competences“. And “The Urban Agenda for the EU will not create new EU funding sources, unnecessary administrative burden, nor affect the current distribution of legal competences and existing working and decision-making structures and will not transfer competences to the EU level.”
Three agendas acting together
The Urban Agenda for the EU will contribute to the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, notably Goal 11 – “make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” and the the global “New Urban Agenda” as part of the Habitat III process.