The consultation, The urban dimension of EU policies – key features of an EU Urban Agenda, will run until 26 September.
The document says that Europe "continues to be faced with challenges related to the economy, the climate, the environment, and society at large. Most of these challenges have a strong urban dimension".
But it says that although "cities’ role for economic, social and cultural development, and their potential for a more resource efficient habitat, have long been recognised" policy responses at European and national level "has been slow and piecemeal, with many but poorly integrated sectoral initiatives".
It says that a "growing number of voices argue that cities need to be adequately involved in the conception and implementation of EU policies, and that EU policies need to be better adapted to the urban realities where they will be implemented".
The consultation document says that an EU Urban Agenda "could serve to enhance the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of policies through better coordination of policies, actors and governance levels and a better understanding of urban development contexts in the conception and implementation of policies".
"It could strengthen cities’ engagement and ownership of EU and national policymaking and implementation. It could support cities’ capacity for transition and structural change to ensure viable urban economies and a socially, environmentally and territorially sustainable development of urban areas.
"By being linked to holistic local development objectives it could bring EU policymaking closer to the citizens. Finally, it could be instrumental in EU’s development aid policies and be a vehicle to promote global sustainability issues".
Amongst the questions the document asks are:
What elements of urban development would benefit from a more concerted approach between different sectors and levels of governance?
Do cities need to be more involved in policymaking at regional, national and EU level?
What should be the roles of the local, regional, national and EU levels in the definition, development and implementation of an EU urban agenda?
The consultation can be found here.