MedCities advocates for urban sustainable development and empowerment of local authorities in the Mediterranean by contributing in the revision of the European Neighbourhood Policy

The European Commission launched a consultation period between the 4th March and the 30th of June, addressed to public authorities, civil society, think tanks, social partners, business and academic communities, to contribute to the revision of the European Neighbourhood Policy.

The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was designed in 2003 to develop closer relations between the EU and its neighbouring countries. Given the significant developments in the neighbourhood since then, it is now essential to undertake a fundamental review of the principles on which the policy is based as well as its scope and how instruments should be used.

To frame the debate, a joint consultation paper by the European Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy was adopted on 4th of March, setting out key questions for discussion with partners and stakeholders. After this consultation, a Communication setting out proposals for the future direction of the ENP will follow in the autumn.

In this framework, the Area Metropolitana de Barcelona, acting as Secretary General of the MedCities Network, has contributed to the consultation process with a paper that gives   special emphasis to the urban dimension of ENP. The key ideas introduced by MedCities, focus on governance challenges and on urban and sustainable territorial development.

Taking into consideration the current context in the Mediterranean region, it is necessary to promote a greater involvement of local authorities and civil society in the design and implementation of the ENP. Decentralisation, capacity-building and a territorial approach, are key elements to give a central role to local stakeholders in the decision making processes in order to improve local governance. Considering the great urban growth in the Mediterranean region, City Development Strategies become an important tool to empower local authorities and to develop municipalities.

For more information on the MedCities contribution, please download the document below.

For more information on the European Commission procedures for the revision of the ENP, please visit their website.