The Urban Dimension of the Dutch EU Presidency

The EU Urban Agenda is among the priorities of the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the EU. One of the objectives of the Dutch Presidency is that the responsible Ministers adopt a declaration (the ‘Pact of Amsterdam’) establishing the EU Urban Agenda, its priorities and working methods. For this to happen, important elements have to be developed and some concrete actions need to be taken between now and the informal Ministerial meeting of May 30th, 2016. These elements and actions will be reported on the newly launched EU Urban Agenda website.


During the Dutch Presidency in the first half of 2016 a number of targets have been set for the EU Urban Agenda.

1. The official launch of the EU Urban Agenda through the Pact of Amsterdam
2. During the Presidency the first four partnerships will be launched namely:

  • Air Quality
  • Housing
  • Urban Poverty
  • Integration of Refugees and Migrants

3. The Conclusions of the Council on the EU Urban Agenda will be presented. These are needed to formalise the commitment of the member states to the EU Urban Agenda. The Council conclusions will be aimed at endorsement of the conclusions of the Pact of Amsterdam.

The Pact of Amsterdam will contain the Operational Framework of the EU Urban Agenda and will elaborate on the goals of the EU Urban Agenda. The focus will be on better regulation, better funding and better knowledge exchange. Furthermore it provides for a rolling agenda of priority themes, which will focus all actions within the Operational Framework and describes the set of actions and working method of the different actors involved.

With many stakeholders involved, drafting the Pact of Amsterdam will be a challenging assignment. The first draft has been sent to the Urban Development Group (UDG) and relevant stakeholders in December 2015. Following their input a second draft will be developed in February. Discussions on the draft will take place during the UDG meeting on April 7th and the UDG meeting on May 12th, culminating in the political agreement on the EU Urban Agenda during the Informal Ministerial Meeting on May 30th. The fact that Member States, Cities, the European Commission and other stakeholders cooperate in this process makes this a truly multi-level governance approach.

The EUKN continues its involvement with partners to conduct research and continue our direct support to the establishment of the EU Urban Agenda. For more information about the EU Urban Agenda, European partnerships and how you can make a contribution visit the website.