Minister Horvat participated in the Informal meetings of EU ministers responsible for urban development and territorial cohesion

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​As part of the Germany's Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Informal meetings of ministers responsible for urban development and territorial cohesion took place on November 30th and December 1st, 2020. The main objective of these meetings was the adoption of new and revised strategic documents, which establish new frameworks for future development and implementation of urban and territorial policies of EU member states.

Croatia was represented at aforementioned videoconferences by Minister for physical planning, construction and state assets, Mr. Darko Horvat, who pointed out that this year was extremely challenging and turbulent for all countries. “Apart from all the obvious difficulties that emerged as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Croatia had another challenge to respond to – a devastating earthquake that struck Zagreb and its surrounding area in March 2020. The earthquake additionally hampered the lives of Croatian citizens in the affected area, imposing new priorities”, said minister Horvat.

Urban Development

Within the framework of urban development, the New Leipzig Charter has been endorsed. The aim of this document is to promote the integrated and sustainable development of European cities, considering a wide range of contemporary challenges that urban areas face today: climate change adaptation, current pandemic, economic crisis, demographic changes and migration etc. The New Leipzig Charter will become the EU's strategic document on sustainable urban development, replacing the original Leipzig Charter that was endorsed in 2007. The New Leipzig Charter is accompanied by the so-called Implementation document, which will ensure redefinition and continuation of the Urban Agenda for the EU after 2020. The Urban Agenda for the EU will be further supported by the European Urban Initiative, a new cohesion policy initiative for the 2021 – 2027 period, that will unite all the existing mechanisms for support and implementation of urban policy in EU Member States.

Territorial Cohesion

Informal Ministerial meeting of ministers responsible for territorial cohesion was held in order to endorse the Territorial Agenda 2030, the revised strategic document focused on fostering balanced and sustainable territorial development of the whole European territory. The adopted Agenda sets out guidelines and principles for balanced development of European territory adapted to the new realities, promoting place-based approach, cross-sectoral and multi-level cooperation within the EU, and advocating the importance of territorial dimension of all sectoral policies.
The Territorial Agenda 2030 is a result of a 2-year-long revision process of the previous version of the document taking into consideration its shortcomings and new challenges which need to be responded to and aligned with other EU policies. Along with the adoption of the Territorial Agenda 2030, six pilot projects were launched in order to implement the principles of the Territorial Agenda 2030 and increase its visibility. The Ministry will take part in the pilot project led by Portugal which will deal with climate change adaptation and resilience through landscape transition.
Additionally, German Presidency prepared Council Conclusions on urban and territorial development which will give additional political support to both, the New Leipzig Charter and the Territorial Agenda 2030, fostering intergovernmental cooperation and territorial and urban dimensions within EU policies.
“The main principles of the Territorial Agenda 2030 and the New Leipzig Charter have already been incorporated by our Ministry into the Green infrastructure in urban spaces development programme and the Circular management of buildings and spaces development programme, which should both be adopted very soon and serve as the basis for programming for the 2021 – 2027 period.” said minister Horvat.

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