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‘Benut de kracht van de jeugd en de Urban Agenda”, aldus minister bij doorstart Europese Agenda Stad

Jonge mensen laten ons zien hoe belangrijk het is om naar de toekomst te kijken. Minister Ollongren (BZK) stelde de jeugd centraal in haar speech tijdens de bijeenkomst van EU-ministers voor stedelijke ontwikkeling op vrijdag 26 november 2021. Tijdens de conferentie, onder Sloveens voorzitterschap van de EU, werd in aanwezigheid van eurocommissaris Ferreira voor Cohesie en Hervormingen het Ljubljana Agreement aangenomen. Hiermee is de voortgang en ondersteuning van de Urban Agenda for the EU (UAEU) voor ten minste vijf jaar verzekerd.

Agenda Stad 26 november 2021



De UAEU (Europese Agenda Stad) werd in 2016 onder Nederlands voorzitterschap van de EU in het leven geroepen om de positie van steden en regio’s bij Europees beleid en -regelgeving te versterken. In de UAEU werken partijen van EU- tot lokaal niveau op gelijke voet samen aan betere regelgeving, betere financiering en betere kennisdeling voor Europese steden. Deze bestuurlijke innovatie levert steden een plek aan tafel in Brussel op, en concrete resultaten op het gebied van bijvoorbeeld innovatief aanbesteden, migratie, mobiliteit, digitale transitie en klimaatadaptatie.

Het Ljubljana Agreement lanceert een gemoderniseerde en versterkte Urban Agenda, met een duidelijk meerjarig werkplan, meer aandacht voor kleinere steden, en versterking van de betere regelgeving-pijler. Centraal staat de voorbereiding van ten minste vier gloednieuwe Partnerschappen: Greening Cities en Sustainable Tourism begin 2022, later gevolgd door Cities of Equality en Food.

Namens Nederland benadrukte minister Ollongren het belang van groene, inclusieve en digitale steden voor een duurzame toekomst. Zij riep haar collega’s op om de kracht van de jeugd en de vernieuwde Urban Agenda te gebruiken om tastbare resultaten voor de burgers van Europa te boeken.


Speech door Minister van BZK, Kajsa Ollongren, tijdens de digitale informele vergadering van ministers verantwoordelijk voor Stedelijke Ontwikkeling, 25 november, Slovenië.

Thank you Commissioner Ferreira for an inspirational speech.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The beautiful city of Ljubljana is also known as the city of dragons. Legend has it that the Greek hero Jason founded Ljubljana after stealing the Golden Fleece from the king of the Black Sea. He did this by fighting and killing a dangerous dragon that lived in the marshes nearby.

Sadly, because of Covid, we are unable to convene in this historical city. Nonetheless, I would like to thank the Slovenian Presidency for its hospitality, and for the extraordinary job it has done. I expect this to be a fruitful meeting with a resounding result: the Ljubljana Agreement.

It will cement the continuation of the Urban Agenda for the EU, which started life in my home city Amsterdam, in 2016. The Netherlands is and will remain a strong supporter of the Urban Agenda and its multi-level approach. I am delighted that today we will be laying the groundwork for 4 brand new 'Ljubljana Partnerships'.

A lot more will be said today about the future of urban and territorial development. What I would like to speak about is Europe's youth, as embodied by the boisterous Jason. In the same way that the history of Ljubljana started with this young man, the future of our cities begins with our young people.

As we all know, Covid-19 has disproportionately affected young people across Europe. A recent study commissioned by the European Parliament shows just how severely young people have been hit by the pandemic in terms of employment, education, training and mental well-being.

Our key priority in addressing these challenges should be funding for youth employment. However, we should also make use of the strength of our youth. Young people are keen to contribute to society, to be useful and to be taken seriously. To cite European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen: ‘While they are anxious about the future, they are determined to make it better.’

The European Commission has quite rightly declared 2022 the European Year of Youth. Europe needs the vision, engagement and participation of all young people to build a better future. A future that is greener, more inclusive and digital.

We politicians are inclined to look no further than the electoral cycle. Young people remind us how important it is to extend our horizons, even to the generations that are not born yet.

We should become what philosopher Roman Krznaric [spreek uit; Krznarik] calls ‘good ancestors’. In this respect, we can take inspiration from Finland that has had a parliamentary committee for the future since 1993.

In my country, we are developing a 'generation check'. It gives civil servants an insight into the effects of new policies and laws on different generations and enables them to take these effects into account.

We have also presented our own Dutch vision for the future, the National Strategy on Spatial Planning and the Environment, or NOVI. It tackles the large and complex challenges facing our small country, such as climate change, the energy transition and the circular economy.

While national government is in charge, the challenges themselves are addressed in a coherent approach, together with regions, cities and civil society organizations.

On the urban scale, cities, social partners and central government are working together on an equal footing in so called City Deals. These projects are practical and result-driven, with solutions that often circumvent traditional administrative, financial and policy channels.

Together, the NOVI and the City Deals represent the Dutch approach to multilevel cooperation, as reflected on a European level in the Urban Agenda. They aim to make the Netherlands an attractive nation for future generations.

Dear Colleagues.

Last year, we approved the New Leipzig Charter and in doing so committed ourselves to the crucial principles that will be a guiding force for sustainable urban development in Europe. This will only truly be a success if it results in real improvements on the ground, for the cities, the people and indeed the youth of Europe.

The Urban Agenda for the EU has shown that such improvements can be achieved, provided that we work together as equal partners, and leave sufficient space for innovation and experimentation.

I call upon you all to once again set to work in that spirit. We have agreed on the principles. We have agreed on the governance. Let us now agree to produce tangible results for the cities and citizens of Europe.

Finally, I would like to return to the dragons of Ljubljana. I am told that today they are all over the city. One day I would like to see them with my own eyes.

And like Jason fighting the dragon, I wish you all strength and wisdom in fighting the persistent pandemic that is still ravaging our countries.

Thank you for your attention.

Zie ook

Europese Agenda Stad verlengd en versterkt

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