Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn challenges cities to deliver more on growth and jobs

Commissioner Hahn is launching a direct dialogue with Europe’s cities. EU structural funds are currently one of the most important instruments the Member States can use to stimulate growth, and cities should be a major focus, given their particular role in European economies. Effective investment in our cities – which represent nearly 70% of the EU population – is crucial at a time when the economic crisis is pushing youth unemployment to an unacceptably high 22%.

Commenting on the event, Commissioner Hahn said: “As economic and political centres and home to nearly 70% of the EU population, cities are an important motor for growth in Europe. While regional policy helps all regions to develop their individual strengths, it is essential to exploit the full potential of cities in particular. Events like the Urban Forum will help make cities full partners in Europe’s recovery“.

At the first Urban Forum in Brussels on 16th February, the Commission gave cities their voice on new proposals for urban policy presented last October, which included :

  • ambitious plans to earmark funds for cities;
  • develop new more coherent approaches to bringing together actions in sectors like transport and environment
  • encourage innovation by the cities themselves.

The Commission’s 2014-2020 cohesion policy proposals aim to support the strategic coordination of urban policies to enhance sustainable urban development and strengthen the role of cities in the EU’s main investment policy. The creation of an ‘Urban Development Platform’ will promote capacity building and the exchange of urban experience at EU level.

Danube Alliance Magazine No. 5 – February-March 2012

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