What impact for the EU Urban Agenda?
The EU Urban Agenda, as it has been decided at the June 2016 Council meeting and in the „Pact of Amsterdam“, has a genesis with highs and lows, ups and downs throughout the past decades. This history is as long as cities have been demanding to get involved directly into EU policy development, a demand they based on two simple facts. First, evidence shows that about two thirds of the EU population live in cities, towns or urban areas. This provides a deeply democratic argument for direct involvement. Cities are the places where most EU citizens live and work. Second, cities are the hotspots of all major social, economic and political developments – they are the hubs for innovation and growth, it is there where new societal patterns first occur, they are the places with the highest density of people with all positive and negative effects. In brief, they constitute the living labs for the future of Europe. To leave them out of the process is simply ignoring their long time existing expertise in integrated policy making – a knowledge older than the EU itself by far.