The ministers responsible for urban matters will meet online on Friday, 26 November. The main topic of the meeting will be the Urban Agenda for the EU and the adoption of the Ljubljana Agreement. The informal meeting, which will also be attended by the European Commissioner for cohesion and reforms, Elisa Ferreira, will be chaired by the Slovenian Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning, Andrej Vizjak.
Minister Vizjak said: “As the country holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU, we are working towards a constructive debate on the Urban Agenda for the EU, which provides a framework for urban development. The contribution of European cities and regions to EU policy-making is being strengthened through direct dialogue between EU member states, the European Commission, the European Parliament, European cities and other stakeholders. We have been successful in this respect by taking the initiative to involve small and medium-sized cities more in cooperation and the policy-making processes, alongside large cities.”
The ministers will discuss and are then expected to adopt the Ljubljana Agreement and the Multiannual Work Programme for the Urban Agenda for the EU – the next generation. The Ljubljana Agreement highlights the importance of the Urban Agenda for the EU and constitutes a political commitment to take it forward. The attached multiannual work programme is a technical document setting out the framework for further cooperation in the 2021–2026 period, as well as how the process will be managed, the thematic areas and methods of cooperation.
Due to increasing urbanisation, the EU recognises the importance of cities of all sizes for sustainable and balanced development. Spatial and urban development is the responsibility of each individual member state, as there is no common legislative framework at the EU level. On the other hand, EU policies and legislation have a considerable impact on the development of cities, and the way cities operate has an impact on the successful implementation of EU policies. That is why, with the adoption the New Leipzig Charter in 2020, EU member states agreed on the common principles of urban development in the EU and approaches to their implementation. The Urban Agenda for the EU is developed through intergovernmental dialogue at the EU level, and it sets out a framework for how urban development should take place. It contributes to providing better support for urban development and facilitates the involvement of cities in EU policy-making, thereby bringing these policies closer to EU citizens. The main objective of the agenda is to unlock the full potential of urban areas to help achieve the EU’s strategic objectives.