Brussels, 13 January 2003
The Urbact Structural Fund programme: EUR 15.9 million for Europe's towns and cities
Under the Urban II Community Initiative(1), the Commission has approved Urbact, a programme for the exchange of experience between European towns and cities, pledging a total Community contribution of EUR 15.9 million over the period 2002-06. Together with a contribution of EUR 8.86 million from the Member States, local authorities and other public bodies, this will provide assistance of more than EUR 24.76 million.
Announcing the decision, Mr Michel Barnier, Member of the European Commission responsible for regional policy, said that the Urban Initiative proposed a creative and innovative approach to urban renewal. Its programmes were strongly anchored in the localities, involving the inhabitants and those active locally. The Commission expected the Urbact programme to strengthen the capacity of towns and cities to respond to the challenges facing them.
The aims of the Urbact programme are:
The programme sets out two main priorities for achieving those aims:
An additional EUR 980 000 is available for technical assistance.
To help Europe's towns and cities meet the challenges facing them, since the end of the 1980s the Commission has been pursuing a number of measures to promote an integrated approach to urban renewal. Between 1989 and 1999, the Commission provided assistance for 59 urban pilot projects and 118 programmes under the Urban I Community Initiative.
In view of the Initiative's success and at the insistence of the European Parliament, the Commission decided to launch a new Community Initiative, Urban II, which it presented to the Member States in a communication on 28 April 2000(2).
Point 15 of the communication lays down the guidelines for Urban II, placing the emphasis on the need to facilitate the detection and accreditation of innovation and good practice and to structure exchanges of experience, for which a total of EUR 15.9 million is available.
The Commission and the Member States agreed to approve a single programme, Urbact, which will involve more than 210 towns and cities that are currently or have in the past benefited under the Urban I and II programmes and urban pilot projects.
The implementation of Urbact
Following consultations between the Commission and the Member States, France presented the Urbact programme on behalf of all the Member States. The French Ministère délégué à la ville et à la rénovation urbaine has been designated as the managing authority and the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations as the paying authority. A Monitoring Committee will be set up in which the Member States and the Commission will participate. This will also act as a steering committee, selecting the projects to be implemented.
Further information on the Urbact programme can be obtained from the managing authority:
Ministère délégué à la ville et à la rénovation urbaine
194, avenue du Président Wilson
F-93217 Saint Denis La Plaine Cedex
Mr Jean-Loup Drubigny
Tel: +33 (0) 1 47 04 11 23
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Gilles Garcia
Responsable de la mission Europe
Tel: +33 (0) 1 49 17 45 71
E-mail : email@example.com
(1)Urban II is a Community Initiative part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund to promote the sustainable development of European Union cities and neighbourhoods in crisis over the period 2000-06.
(2)OJ C 141,19.5.2000.