The national impact of the Urban Agenda for the EU 2016-2019

EUKN and The Dutch Ministry for Interior and Kingdom Relations, 2019


The full range of impacts brought about by the novel policy instrument of the Urban Agenda for the EU (UAEU) at Member State level has not yet been explored in full depth. With a view to understand and assess its contribution for national urban policy within the EU, the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations has commissioned the EUKN to conduct a study on the impact on urgan governance compelled by UAEU in ten selected EU Member States since its agreement during the Pact of Amsterdam in 2016

By analysisng the developments of the UAEU Partnerships and relative action plans during these first three years, the study seeks to discern how governance structures at the Member State level have been impacted. It proposes to answer the following research question:


Has the Urban Agenda for the EU led to changes in horizontal and vertical coordination structures in urban governance, and/or has it resulted in new (national) urban policies in EU Member States?


The perceived changes in urban governance were analysed for ten EU Member States selected by the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations: Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Spain. The different experiences were studied by looking at three key elements, i.e. National Urban Policies, horizontal coordination structures, and vertical coordination structures, and by using three analytical “lenses”, i.e. type of change, motor of change, and (in)formality of change. 

Evidence was gathered through the use of two surveys presenting different institutional scales and perspectives within countries in relation to the novelty of the UAEU. The "uniqueness" of the multi-level governance framework introduced by the UAEU constituted a recurring theme in the responses received. 

The research undertaken in this study will feed into the official evalution of the UAEU carried out by the European Commission at end of 2019 or early 2020.