New EUKN publication: “One Year Pact of Amsterdam” report

On 30 May 2016, the EU ministers responsible for urban matters adopted the Pact of Amsterdam at the Informal Ministerial Meeting organised under the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the EU. It established the Urban Agenda for the European Union (UAEU). One year after its launch, the EUKN carried out a report commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations on the progress of the UAEU. The report investigates the progress made with regard to the implementation of the UAEU actions, their (expected) impact and spin-off effects. The report is now available online.

The Pact of Amsterdam marks an important milestone for urban policy coordination in the EU. The Pact established the Urban Agenda for the EU (UAEU), whose long-lasting goal is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of EU policies in urban areas and, thus, strengthen the urban dimension of EU policies. The UAEU embodies the political commitment to realise the full potential of urban areas towards the achievement of the objectives of the EU and concomitant national goals. This initiative of Member States relies on a multi-level governance framework that involves urban authorities, as well as national and European levels of government. The Pact of Amsterdam defines eleven actions, guided by twelve Priority Themes, to be implemented in order to improve EU regulation, funding and knowledge with regard to urban issues.

One year after the adoption of the Pact of Amsterdam, the report carried out by the EUKN investigates the progress made with regard to the eleven UAEU actions, their (expected) impact as well as their first spin-off effects. Its goal is to provide a first stock-taking of the UAEU in order to contribute to the further development of this ongoing project and process and ensure its optimal delivery. The report first analyses the state of development of the twelve UAEU thematic Partnerships and then focuses on the implementation of the other ten UAEU actions that fall mainly under the responsibility of EU institutions and organisations. The report pays particular attention to the expected impact of the UAEU on multi-level collaboration on urban issues and on post-2020 EU policies and assesses the spin-off effects at national and international levels. Lastly, a set of recommendations intends to help bring the UAEU forward. Data was collected through the analysis of relevant documents, tailor-made online surveys and interviews with key stakeholders. The procedures and objectives stated in the Pact of Amsterdam provided a basis for evaluation.

As a first assessment of the UAEU, the “One Year Pact of Amsterdam” report shows that the implementation of the eleven UAEU actions is still a work-in-progress, with concrete obstacles to the success of the multi-level working method and sometimes a lack of available information regarding the progress made. Nevertheless, the findings show that the UAEU benefit from the commitment of all levels of government, within the Partnerships, and from the support of European institutions. In fact, the UAEU has so far lived up to expectations regarding the reinforcement and improvement of inter-institutional coordination and collaboration on urban issues. The further implementation of the UAEU actions and its political embeddedness will be key to ensure a long-lasting impact on the urban dimension of EU policies.

The key findings and recommendations of the report were presented at the Policy Lab organised jointly by the EUKN and the Dutch knowledge institute Platform31 on 4 July 2017 in Utrecht. The Policy Lab focused on the first results of the UAEU and gave rise to discussions on its future development. The report might also be presented at the Urban Development Group (UDG) meeting that will be held in Estonia on 26 September 2017. Besides, it paves the way for the evaluation of the UAEU that will be conducted by the European Commission in fall 2017.


Find the PDF version of the “One Year Pact of Amsterdam” report below.