The French EU Council Presidency kicked-off in January and will continue until June. What is the programme when it comes to urban matters?
Building on the strategic and political framework provided by the previous Trio Presidency (Germany – Portugal – Slovenia), France will ensure an effective and operational programme focused on three main strands.
The first strand is the implementation of the Ljubljana Agreement and the new Urban Agenda for the EU working programme. We need to continue focusing on the urban dimension of major contemporary challenges. Losing the momentum generated by the first generation of the Urban Agenda for the EU and the work of its Thematic Partnerships would be a missed opportunity. In this respect, the French Presidency will focus on two major challenges: Greening Cities and Sustainable Tourism, preparing the ground for new Thematic Partnerships and Other Forms of Cooperation working on these topics. To increase the impact of new Partnerships’ work on existing policy frameworks, an Ex-Ante Assessment will be carried out. This new and experimental step has been introduced in the Ljubljana Agreement to facilitate Partnerships in optimising their focus, ensure the success of multilevel cooperation approaches, and create better regulations, better policies, and better knowledge.
The second strand relates to further implementation of the New Leipzig Charter and the need to share knowledge on key urban issues. The French Presidency will adopt the major challenge of promoting just cities, and organise ‘The Art of Just-City-Making’ Policy Labs. This will be a series of events exploring means to create just cities in a green, productive, and digital way, emphasising the relevance of integrated approaches towards sustainable urban development.