EU ministers reach an agreement on the Riga Declaration: ‘Towards the EU Urban Agenda’
Last week, the Ministers responsible for Cohesion Policy, Territorial Cohesion and Urban Matters and Territorial Urban Development met in Riga to discuss the development of the EU Urban Agenda.
At the meeting, the participants agreed on the Riga Declaration: ‘Towards the EU Urban Agenda’, prepared by the Latvian Presidency.
The Latvian Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Kaspars Gerhards, Stressed: ‘Agreement on the Riga Declaration is a significant step towards the development of the EU Urban Agenda. I am pleased that we have managed to prepare a balanced text, taking into account the interests of various stakeholders and respecting the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.
This agreement is significant for the Latvian Presidency. It emphasises that the role of small and medium-sized urban areas must be taken into account when developing and implementing the EU Urban Agenda.’
The Declaration identifies the key elements and principles that should be taken into account in future work on the development of the EU Urban Agenda during the upcoming Presidencies.
The main elements of the EU Urban Agenda are: recognition of the diversity of urban areas, focus on opportunities offered by urban areas, improvement of the urban dimension of EU policies and cooperation between urban areas.
For the first time, the Ministers responsible for Territorial and Urban Development had the opportunity to discuss at political level the EU Urban Agenda with high-level representatives of the EU institutional and partner organisations.
Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Cretu, emphasised: ‘The Riga Declaration acknowledges the crucial role of cities and towns in reaching the objectives set by the EU 2020 Strategy and by the Juncker Commission in terms of growth and jobs. The Declaration and the conclusions we have drawn from our public consultation fives us a strong direction to follow. Now it is up to the EU, to Member States and the cities, in strong partnership, to deliver!’
The Riga Declaration will provide a comprehensive framework for the upcoming Presidencies to develop the content of the EU Urban Agenda identifying specific priorities and actions for its implementation.
The Riga Declaration can be found in full here.