The Urban Dimension of the Juncker Priorities: Quick Scan on the role of EU capital cities regarding the Urban Agenda for the EU

EUKN, 2015


The contribution of cities is crucial in achieving EU objectives including the priorities of the Juncker Commission. Thus, there is a need for all urban actors – local authorities, regions, national governments and the European Commission – to make the urban dimension of the Juncker Priorities more explicit and link them to specific urban issues, in order to better identify how cities can contribute to these priorities. With this aim the city of Amsterdam has commissioned a Quick Scan on the urban dimension of the Juncker Priorities and the role of EU capital cities regarding the EU Urban Agenda.

The Quick Scan focuses on capital cities for several reasons. First, capital cities are of great importance for economic growth and sustainable development in Europe. Even more important is the responsibility of capital cities to represent the interests of other national cities in the international arena. In addition, capital cities can catalyse economic, social and sustainable development because of their administrative, economic and symbolic power within their national and international contexts. Furthermore, due to their geographical distribution and differences in size they reflect the wide variety of cities within the EU.

The report discerns seven Juncker Priorities with a clear urban dimension, that is: a new boost for jobs, growth and investment; a connected digital single market; an energy union and fighting climate change; a deeper and fairer Internal market; an area of justice and fundamental rights; a new policy on migration; and a union of democratic change.

The Quick Scan shows that cities can – and should – play an important role in contributing to the Juncker Priorities. Cooperation between the Commission and cities will add value by promoting both the Commission’s ambitions and by addressing specific challenges in European cities relating to the achievement of the EU priorities.