Revision of the Territorial Agenda of the EU, the Leipzig Charter and the Urban Agenda for the EU (Exploratory opinion at the request of the German presidency)

This page is also available in

Udvalgets udtalelse: Revision of the Territorial Agenda of the EU, the Leipzig Charter and the Urban Agenda for the EU (Exploratory opinion at the request of the German presidency)

Key points:

The EESC

  • Recommends that the new circumstances and parameters that have arisen during the operating period of the current Leipzig Charter (see paragraph 2.2) be fully included in the content of the new Charter, with a view to ensuring that the Charter is functionally compatible with the future EU multiannual financial framework and its links with the European Semester process. It should also take into account the impacts and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economic, social, environmental and territorial development of the Member States.
  • Draws attention to the anticipated increase in distortions and risks (economic, health, environmental, cyber, etc.) and proposes to explicitly highlight the need to systematically consider resilience in the New Leipzig Charter on Sustainable European Cities.
  • Welcomes the text of the Territorial Agenda 2030 and endorses its central pillars, which are based on justice, an environmental focus and the need for the territorial dimension to be reflected in all relevant areas of public administration.
  • Welcomes the opportunity provided by the Territorial Agenda 2030 to participate in the process of implementing it.
  • Is aware of the huge scope for using an integrated approach in territorial and urban development and the benefits associated with this approach in terms of synergising the effects, saving on costs and making functional connections between the content of supported projects.
  • Points out that there is also scope for an integrated approach in terms of the possibility of linking public and private financial resources to increase capacity and share risk for the benefit of both territorial and urban development subject to democratic control, transparent governance and accountability.
  • Strongly supports a balance between different types of territory in the use of territorial and urban development instruments. It recommends using the most appropriate support instruments for each type of territory, while respecting the principle of subsidiarity.
  • Underlines the importance of new models and aspects of the development of urban agglomerations and metropolitan areas as key factors for improving of the EU's global competitiveness through their openness.
  • Is, however, also well aware of the importance of protection and support for peripheral and outlying, mainly rural, territories to help include them in modern and sustainable regional development.
  • Recommends that the Urban Agenda be coordinated as much as possible with territorial cohesion policy. This can be achieved through functional partnerships between urban and rural areas and through integrated projects aimed at enhancing the sustainability and resilience of the local economic, social and environmental systems of cities, their functional areas and their rural periphery.
  • Calls on the European Commission to support exchanges of experience gradually leading to methodological recommendations for taking emerging risks and resilience into account as part of the preparation and assessment of development plans at urban and regional levels.
  • Notes, on the one hand, that metropolitan areas and urban agglomerations are well placed to be the growth poles of the national economy as a whole as well as acting as its contact points in the context of economic openness and globalisation. On the other hand, it is fully aware of the need for a more balanced development of the entire national economy, including rural and peripheral areas.
  • Insists that a more balanced representation must exist under the partnership principle in urban and regional development.
  • Notes that, in practice, the integrated territorial approach is primarily applied in rural areas (LEADER/CLLD) and in the case of functional urban and metropolitan agglomerations.