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The Urban Agenda for the EU calls for a more integrated approach to European policies and legislation that affect urban areas and promote smart local development. Similarly, the EU Cohesion Policy supports an integrated approach to sustainable urban development through European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). Cities, together with local partners, are key actors in developing their own vision and integrated strategies, and in developing smart solutions to manage urban change in cooperation with their inhabitants. The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the JASPERS technical assistance partnership of the European Investment Bank, European Bank of Reconstruction & Development and European Commission share the relevance to boost sustainable growth in cities and regions, providing a better quality of life for citizens. Both institutions also share the importance to contribute to the implementation of the Urban Agenda for the EU and smart cities as part of this approach.
To this end, a series of local dialogues organised by JASPERS and some CoR members within the framework of the initiative of "Reflecting in Europe", will provide a space of dialogue on 'How Europe helps cities and regions to foster smart development', as well as a unique scenario for citizens to present their ideas, thoughts and opinions on what Europe should be. In this context, the CoR members will be engaged in a series of debates with citizens with the direct support of the JASPERS initiative, as a concrete European tool and concrete examples of projects already supported by the EU. This local event will engage regional and local authorities in a direct dialogue with their citizens, representatives of the civil society, city makers, etc. to collect feedback on their concerns, thoughts and ideas about the future of the EU. The CoR takes the commitment to make citizens' voices heard and to take into account their input in shaping the on-going political debate on the future of Europe.
Venue: Czech Embassy to Austria (Penzinger Str. 11-13, 1140 Vienna, Austria)
Participating CoR Members include: Petr Osvald (CZ/PES), Gregor Macedoni (SL/not affiliated), Andrea Turčanová (SK/EPP) and Vojko Obersnel (HR/PES).