According to Eurostat, 72 % of the European population currently lives in cities and metropolitan areas. It is foreseen that, by the year 2050, this figure will reach 80 %. The European Union is fully aware of the role of cities as motors of socioeconomic progress, with a growing focus of Cohesion Policy on urban issues. However, while there has been no shortage of new policies, cities are often just beneficiaries of these initiatives. A recent study shows that the volume of funds managed by some European cities does not correspond to their GDP or population, and highlights the need for metropolitan areas to assume management functions.
This conference aims at stressing the role of major cities and metropolitan areas in EU Cohesion Policy and the management of Structural Funds. The discussion will serve the purpose of evaluating the contribution of metropolitan cities to the implementation of the current EU policies and funds, and defining how their role may be reshaped in the coming post-2020 Cohesion Policy.