National governments across Europe, international organisations such as the OECD, the European Union and the UN are recognising the critical role that metropolitan areas play in regional and national economies, both as hubs for innovation, investment, business, talent and employment and as service providers to growing metropolitan populations. In many countries, centralised powers are progressively being devolved to the metropolitan level through institutional reform and incentivised cooperation schemes in an effort to empower city-regions to better respond to local needs and to increase efficiency. Metropolitan areas are strategic components of diverse regional and national systems across Europe, and as such are central to a prosperous European future.
Following up on the 2015 European Metropolitan Authorities (EMA) Declaration signed during the first EMA Forum in Barcelona, the Metropolitan City of Turin, the City of Turin and the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona will host the second EMA Forum on February 12th in Turin. This second meeting is intended as a forum for Mayors, Presidents, leaders of European institutions and urban networks to build strategic relationships. By working collaboratively EMA 2016 aims to express a common vision of the centrality of metropolitan areas within the framework of the European Urban Agenda that will be adopted during the Dutch EU Presidency in 2016.
The challenges of building inter-municipal visions, strategies, policies and delivery mechanisms have to be better understood and properly supported. The EMA 2016 Forum is therefore uniquely focused on building support at the European level for effective metropolitan governance. EMA 2016 will be an opportunity to discuss metropolitan challenges related to economic growth, job creation, social inclusion and environmental sustainability within the current European policy framework. The Forum will provide an opportunity to share initiatives and best practices across metropolitan cities and organisations, and to develop recommendations for EU policymakers regarding institutional and governance arrangements, programming, funding and investment mechanisms.
As metropolitan areas and megacities continue to draw capital, talent and knowledge globally, Europe has to build on its strengths, on its rich urban and regional structure, civic values based on social inclusion, in order to remain competitive in the worldwide “metropolitan revolution”.
(12 gennaio 2016)