The Urban Agenda for the EU: What is it and How is the EUKN Involved?

The Urban Agenda for the EU: A Brief Overview

The Urban Agenda for the EU (UAEU) was launched in May 2016 with the Pact of Amsterdam. It represents a new multi-level working method promoting cooperation between Member States, cities, the European Commission and other stakeholders. Its aim is to stimulate growth, liveability and innovation in European cities, and to identify and tackle social challenges. 

The UAEU takes an integrated approach to urban policymaking, involving a whole range of urban stakeholders and authorities to achieve three central things:

  • Better Regulation (reducing, as far as possible, the conflicts and difficulties associated with implementing EU legislation at the local level).

  • Better Funding (improving access to funding opportunities by simplifying application processes) and;

  • Better Knowledge (bridging science-policy gaps and improving the exchange of (policy) knowledge and experience across borders).

The Urban Agenda for the EU has 14 thematic partnerships. To find out more about the individual partnerships, click on the relevant icon below.





The EUKN's Involvement in the Urban Agenda for the EU

The EUKN was involved in the establishment of the agenda and from 2017-20 supported its fourteen thematic partnerships, as co-lead of the Technical Secretariat for the Urban Agenda for the EU with Ecorys and EUROCITIES. Today, the EUKN continues to support the partnerships directly and indirectly via its support activities for members.  

Renewal Phase (post-2020) 

The UAEU is currently being rethought and updated, building on several assessments of the document by the European Commission, the Committee of Regions, the European Parliament, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, and others. This process coincides and interlinks with the launch of the European Urban Initiative (EUI), which is also under development. 

The EUKN supports the UAEU’s future renewal via support to members and to the trio presidency (Germany, Portugal and Slovenia) of the Council of the European Union (2020 - 2021). 


Establishment and Consolidation Phase (2015-2020) 

Strategic Analysis of the UAEU and its Partnerships 

The EUKN’s support to the Portuguese and Slovenian presidencies focuses on the UAEU partnerships. For instance, the EUKN’s policy labs for Slovenia in 2020 engaged the Finnish presidency’s clustering exercise technique to assess the “green” partnerships’ action plans and, in turn, prepare environmental policy recommendations for ministers to be presented during the Slovenian presidency in 2021. Read more about this here.

The EUKN policy lab for the Netherlands in October 2020 reflected on the impact of the UAEU’s partnerships thus far and their future development. 

The EUKN Secretariat has also published a number of analytical reports about the UAEU, including: 

Event Hosting and Moderation 

The EUKN has hosted and moderated a number of UAEU Partnership meetings and other events, including: 

  • Moderation of the Sustainable Use of Land and Nature-based Solutions Partnership meetings (2017-2018) 

  • Moderation of the Urban Mobility Partnership kick-off meeting (2017), political meeting (2018) and final meeting (2020) 

  • Policy Labs for the Czech Republic kicking off and facilitating the Urban Mobility Partnership’s work (2016, 2017) 

  • Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees Partnership Working Conference (2016) 

  • Urban Poverty Partnership Seminar Athens (2016) 

Communication and Guidance  

The EUKN formed part of the Technical Secretariat for the UAEU alongside Ecorys and Eurocities from 2017-2020. This involved supporting all the Partnerships with communications activities and strategic expertise.