Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Sustainable territorial and local development

European Urban Policy - 25.01.2024

Paving the Way for Sustainable European Urban Policy at "A Urban Policy Fit for the Future" Conference
The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) participated in to "A Urban Policy Fit for the Future" conference, organised by the Belgian presidency of the European Union. Convened on January 24 by the Brussels-Capital Region, the conference, initiated by Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President, and Ans Persoons, Secretary of State for Urban Planning and European Relations, brought together 41 mayors from European cities, European institutions, and key stakeholders invested in Europe's urban policy landscape.
The gathering delved into the integral role of cities in shaping a resilient and inclusive Europe. It underscored the necessity for a continual dialogue between cities and European institutions, shedding light on the vital experiences and expertise European cities possess in tackling future challenges.
Brussels Declaration of European Mayors:
A highlight of the event was the signing of the Brussels Declaration of European Mayors, a landmark document signed by 41 mayors from 19 European countries. This declaration, a crucial component of the urban policy initiative under the Belgian presidency, outlines six recommendations for the EU's 2024-2029 mandate. These recommendations emphasize the significance of dialogue, coordination, regulations, funding, metropolitan governance, and a sustainable urban model.
CEMR Secretary General Fabrizio Rossi stressed the interdependence between urban and rural systems, emphasising the need to eliminate the artificial opposition between the two. According to Wolfram Leibe member of the Association of German Cities and Mayor of Trier, “Municipalities, cities, and regions are essential to deliver key public services to the inhabitants. We strive to ensure well-being and quality of life. 70% of EU regulation require a local action to be implemented, this is why local and regional governments should be closely associated to any decision at the European level that has an impact at the local level.”. Mayor Hanna Zdanowska of the City of Łódź, from the Association of Polish Counties, highlighted the necessity to mobilize private funds for ecological activities, citing the success of Łódź's EcoPact for Łódź project with support from 50 investors "Cities cannot count only on their financial resources or subsidies from national programs or European funds. To maximize ecological activities, it is necessary to mobilize private funds, especially business”.
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