The Urban Agenda partnerships bring national and local governments from different member states together with the Commission services, and are an example of multi-level cooperation, European style. As one of the three coordinators we shape this cooperation and raise issues of crucial importance for our cities.
The partnerships are so much more than an EU funded project for sharing and implementing projects. As a member of a smooth running network like EUROCITIES, you tend to forget how much time and effort is needed to set up a partnership and identify issues of common interest that you can tackle together.
A good example is our action aiming at including a human capital agenda and the local level as cornerstones of the Regional Innovation Strategies (RiS3). Cities are often overlooked as the places where this innovation is taking place. And all too often, after the strategy has been implemented, it is found out that the necessary labour market skills are not sufficiently at hand.
Unfortunately, the 2.5 years planned for the partnerships are too short to fully capture the potential of the Urban Agenda process. Our aim is to come together one more time in Ghent, before we wrap things up.