The EUROCITIES network represents more than 145 cities with over 250,000 inhabitants each as well as 45 partner cities, not all of which are situated in the EU. The EU institutions cannot afford to ignore the voice of these 130 million citizens from 39 countries.
The city network in Europe
In all, about three quarters of all EU citizens live and work in urban centres – and these European metropolises are growing. A large part of the diversity and prosperity of the EU stems from contributions made by the urban population. For this reason, it is important to take account of the concerns of cities when taking political decisions within the EU. The work of the EUROCITIES network is based on two key pillars:
- The first pillar rests on discussions within the network regarding a great variety of topics relating to the smooth functioning of cities (good practices, EU projects, etc.).
- The second pillar derives from the necessity to convey the interests of cities to competent opinion leaders and decision-makers in the EU institutions, above all in the European Commission and the European Parliament.
EUROCITIES and Vienna
Vienna has been a member of EUROCITIES since 1995. In 2001, Vienna was for the first time voted into the highest body of EUROCITIES, the Executive Committee. The Vienna City Administration is involved in almost all EUROCITIES Forums and Working Groups. Currently, Vienna chairs the Working Groups “European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement”, “Smart and Connected Mobility” and “Housing” as well as serving as the vice chair of the Working Group “Urban Ageing”. Moreover, an initiative launched by Vienna led to the establishment of another Working Group focusing on “Long Term Investment”.
The Working Group “Housing” also played a very active role in the EU Housing Partnership. The focus of this Working Group is on affordable housing in Europe’s cities. One objective lies in highlighting the extent to which affordable housing can contribute to social cohesion in society, since an adequate supply of affordable housing for broad strata of the population is key to preventing segregation and the formation of social and ethnic ghettoes.
In November 2020, the annual General Meeting of EUROCITIES with the heading “Reinventing Cities – beyond the urban crises” took place as an online event. Vienna presented its gender strategy and gender-related measures during a speed networking round.
Through its commitment to the work of EUROCITIES, Vienna champions the efficient representation of cities’ interests in the EU and, in its turn, benefits enormously from a constant exchange of experience as well as from networking activities via this platform.
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