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The Pact of Amsterdam: a new role for cities in EU policy making

The Pact of Amsterdam is to play a central role in the new EU Urban Agenda by increasing the policy focus on European cities.

Cities would play a larger role in European Union policy making under a newly adopted framework dubbed the “Pact of Amsterdam.” According to the EUROCITIES network of municipal leaders, the accord was launched on the 30th of May by the Netherlands Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The Urban Agenda for the EU is an opportunity to build a stronger Europe that is closer to its citizens, at a time when the European project is coming under more intense scrutiny. This shows important political recognition of the role of cities in the EU, providing a new framework for their involvement in developing and implementing European policy.

Thematic partnerships are one of the main tools intended to deliver the goals of the urban agenda. These partnerships bring cities, member states and the European Commission together to generate a better understanding of how EU policies impact cities, and the challenges related to their implementation.

Johanna Rolland, mayor of Nantes and president of EUROCITIES, said:

“Our aim is to develop and implement integrated and coherent European public policies and funding to address our shared challenges. This is not just about using new tools but, most of all, about the results. This is our opportunity to test a new way of working in partnership with cities, member states and the EU, and make the most of the tools proposed to deliver better regulation, better funding and better knowledge sharing.”


Photo: The Netherlands EU Presidency 2016