The European Union is sitting on a gold mine with the so-called Urban Agenda for the EU, but policymakers can make even better use of the new initiative’s potential by focusing more on experimentation. This is the conclusion reached by researchers from Utrecht University’s Urban Futures Studio in an extensive study on the practical implementation of this new European working method.
For the first time ever, the Urban Agenda for the EU makes it possible for cities to directly influence EU policymaking and regulation by working in partnerships. This is a good initiative, since cities are usually decisive actors and come up with innovative and creative solutions to complex issues (such as the refugee crisis and the circular economy). The Urban Agenda for the EU was established in 2016, during the Dutch presidency of the EU, to make better use of the strengths of cities. As part of the approach, partnerships consisting of cities, national governments and European institutions meet on a regular basis to discuss and solve problems.