European Urban Initiative Expert Working Group

Location: Noble Hall, Alfandega
Date: Fri, January 31
Time: 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

The objective of this session is to inform and update the participants on the development of the European Urban Initiative (EUI) and to gather their feedback. The EUI — part of the Cohesion Policy legislative proposal for 2021-2027 — is aimed at bringing all urban tools of Cohesion Policy into a single framework consisting of three strands:

  • Support of capacity-building;
  • Support of innovative actions;
  • Support of knowledge, policy development and communication.

The rationale behind the creation of the EUI is to increase the coherence of the support provided to urban areas, to strengthen the link between different strands of this work and the wider EU policy sphere, particularly mainstream Cohesion Policy investments, and also to support inter-governmental cooperation on urban matters (i.e. the Urban Agenda for the EU). The EUI’s ultimate objective is to strengthen sustainable urban development, this being defined as the integrated and participatory approach. 

The session will also offer opportunities for exchanging with the members of the Expert Working Group established by the European Commission in 2019 to support the design process of the EUI, as they participate in the session.

15:00 – 15:15

Welcome, introduction to the aims of the session and to the EUI

Pia Laurila and Thomas de Béthune, EC/DG REGIO

15:15 – 15:30

Current state-of-play: developing the EUI

Twan de Bruijn, Expert assisting the EC in the design of the EUI

15:30 – 15:50

Insight into one aspect of how the EUI might work: the experience of moving from URBACT to UIA

Giacomo Constantini, City of Ravenna (IT)

Cleo Pouw, City of Rotterdam (NL)

Inti Bertocchi, City of Bologna (IT)

15:50 – 17:15

Interactive session: discussion circles on the EUI

What kind of support do urban areas need from your organisation’s point of view, and also in view of the outcomes of the high-level political EUI panel discussion organised on the first day of the Cities Forum?

How to reduce the existing gaps and fragmentation between the different urban support tools under Cohesion Policy as well as between these tools and mainstream Cohesion Policy investments?

17:15 - 17:30

Q&A with audience and concluding remarks

EC/DG REGIO and Twan de Bruijn, EUI Expert

In the session, the state of play concerning preparations for the setting up of the European Urban Initiative (EUI) will be presented and discussed with the key stakeholders and the wider audience from the perspective of the support needs of cities. The EUI - which is part of the Cohesion Policy legislative proposal for 2021-2020 - is sought at ensuring coherent support for cities and strengthening integrated and participatory approaches to Sustainable Urban Development. The initiative should also provide a stronger link to other EU policies, and in particular to Cohesion Policy investments, and shall support inter-governmental cooperation on urban matters (Urban Agenda for the EU).

At previous outreach events of the EUI design, the main take-away messages were the following: the EUI should build on what already exists and works well, ensure that smaller urban areas are not neglected, retain flexibility (and add more where possible), and break down barriers between actors at the local level and the EU.

This session provides a new opportunity for a discussion with the wide audience on the EUI design. Join the session and pass your valuable views on the crucial elements of the future EUI for sustainable development of European cities of all sizes!

Explanatory Memo (PDF)

Parallel Workshop

Noble Hall

Urbact-UIA Success Case Bologna

Urbact-UIA Success Case Ravenna

Urbact-UIA Success Case Rotterdam

Urbact-UIA Success Case Turin