From 1 July to 31 December 2015, Luxembourg holds the six-month rotating Presidency of the European Union. It is the third of the Trio of Presidencies for the period of 2014-2015, preceded by Italy and Latvia. Moreover, the Luxembourg EU Presidency is the first to take place under the auspices of the Lisbon Treaty. An open approach will have priority: listen to citizens, support businesses, and collaborate with partners and institutions in order to act in the interests of Europe. The next six months will focus on boosting growth and employment and deepening the EU’s social dimension. Air quality, energy policy, the Circular Economy, the Ecodesign Directive and the new Baltic Sea Common Fisheries Policy are among the main challenges facing Luxembourg.
Since the signing of the Riga Declaration to set the framework for the future Urban Agenda for the EU, the topic on small- and medium-sized urban areas (SMUAs) has been passed over to explore opportunities of cross-border co-operation. The EUKN continued its involvement on this topic with Luxembourg partners to conduct research and continue the direct support to the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. On behalf of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the EUKN wrote and published the report "The Trio Presidency theme of small and medium-sized cities: synthesis of the results" and organised a workshop on “The potential of small and medium cities in cross-border polycentric metropolitan regions” (30 June 2015, Luxembourg-City)
The EUKN workshop was organised by the Department of Spatial Planning and Development in the context of the Luxembourgish Presidency of the Council of the European Union aimng to explore the challenges and potentials of small and medium cities in cross-border polycentric regions (CBPRs). Presenting the state of play report on CBPRs and by facilitating an exchange between relevant stakeholders and experts, workshop facilitated an exchange and open dialogue.