At Habitat III, the EU commits to increase support to city-to-city cooperation
20 October 2016
The EU Commissioner announced that the EU would “boost cooperation between cities around the world”. In her opinion, this will help cities in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA). With this approach, the European Commission is on the same line as the key messages of PLATFORMA in the Habitat III process: building governance capabilities to contribute to the implementation of the New Urban Agenda is key, and peer to peer cooperation is the best way to get there.
This so-called “voluntary commitment” was presented in the frame of the Habitat III conference. It builds on the EU’s International Urban Cooperation programme (IUC). Calls for cities to engage will be launched early 2017.
Patrizio Fiorilli, Director of PLATFORMA, was present in the panel. He strongly welcomed this voluntary commitment, recalling PLATFORMA’s core mandate of facilitating and raising the visibility of decentralised cooperation.
However, he called on the EU not to forget small towns and reminded participants of the importance of exchanging expertise: “Implementing the New Urban Agenda will be about exchange and learning from each other on an equal footing and this is key for our future and success”, he said. In this regard, the CONNECT mechanism that PLATFORMA and the Association of Netherlands Municipalities VNGi, have launched to promote exchanges of expertise will be crucial.
PLATFORMA and CEMR, as members of the Global Task Force of local and regional governments(GTF), actively participated in the Habitat III process. They advocated for a stronger voice of LRGs in the design and implementation of the NUA in line with its Declaration on Habitat III. The implementation phase that starts after today’s adoption of the New Urban Agenda will be decisive for the success of this long process.
Watch the presentation of the voluntary commitments in video. The third commitment to foster city-to-city cooperation starts at 38 min.
Read the European Commission’s press release.