Unravelling the 'green' actions of the Urban Agenda for the EU - Part II

3 November, 2020

 

The EUKN webinar for Slovenia was informed by the upcoming Slovene EU Council Presidency in the second half of 2021. It specifically investigated in what way the Urban Agenda for the EU (UAEU) process can be harvested with a view to the theme of environmental sustainability and better regulation.

To do so, the EUKN Secretariat developed an approach for the analysis of the ‘green’ actions of the UAEU that call for the involvement of Member States and the EU level. The approach is based, inter alia, on the clustering exercise performed by the 2019 Finnish Council Presidency and DG REGIO. The first results of applying the methodology to three actions were showcased and discussed in a webinar on 9 June 2020.

For the webinar on 3 November, two actions have been selected, analysed and presented: ‘Data standards supporting citizen participation in urban planning’ (Digital Transition) and 'Reducing diversity of Urban Vehicle Access Regulations’ (Urban Mobility). 

A debate on the implications for the post-2020 Urban Agenda for the EU followed the actions' presentations. During this debate, discussants and participants were invited to reflect on how the two actions could be further implemented as well as how to best capitalise on them. 

Read the preparatory booklet  to discover more about the selected Actions, the analysis approach and the event's objectives. 

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Quotes from the panellists

'The old approach of environmental regulations in Slovenia is putting restrictions, thus hindering new technologies to emerge. How can we encourage innovation and new solutions? We should change our mindset and stop recognizing what is not regulated as unfriendly.'  

Jernej Stritih, Stritih Sustainable Development  

'We should look at Urban Vehicles Access Regulations (UVAR) as part of a system.  If we do not address other issues simultaneously, by introducing UVAR we could encounter other problems (e.g. parking pressure on the areas surrounding this zone). There is a need for comprehensive planning in Slovenia. We are preparing the ground to work on this in the new programming period.'

Polona Demšar Mitrovič, Slovene Ministry of Infrastructure

'Most of the legislations coming out from the EU green deal will have to be implemented at the local level. It would be wise to involve the local level in the design of the EU Green Deal. Should this become a topic for the second phase of the UAEU?'

Stefan Kuhn, ICLEI Europe

'At the level of the Action, clear ownership is needed to implement the work. Looking at my Action we had two parts. To implement the first part and analyse the INSPIRE Directive, we would have definitely needed some partners from the Member States and even at the EU level.' 

Xinxin Duan, Land Hamburg

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Follow-up activities

  • A joint report of the webinars 'Unravelling the 'green' actions of the Urban Agenda for the EU', held respectively in June and November 2020, will be published in December 2020. 
     
  • The insights gathered during the meeting will inform the activities planned for Slovenia in 2021, the year of the Slovene EU Council Presidency. The ultimate goal of this two-year cooperation is to provide input to a set of recommendations to ministers, informing the planned Informal Ministerial Meeting under Slovene Presidency. Those recommendations should entail clear directions on how to follow up on those UAEU actions that deal with regulatory obstacles faced by cities when trying to reach environmental goals.