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Meeting of the Network of Territorial Cohesion Contact Points on communication and implementation of the Territorial Agenda 2030

As part of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the town of Ptuj hosted a meeting of the national members of the Network of Territorial Cohesion Contact Points (NTCCP), chaired by Mr Tomaž Miklavčič from the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning.

In communicating the Territorial Agenda 2030 adopted in November 2020, the main focus was on the newly redesigned joint website, which is the focal point for information on events and the way the agenda is being implemented through activities, approaches and projects at European, national, regional and local levels. At the meeting, an agreement was reached on the tasks of the communication group, which was set up to support the member state of the current presidency. The second part of the meeting focused on the implementation of the Territorial Agenda 2030, where participants reviewed the implementation progress of individual pilot actions and discussed the proposal for a new pilot action on space use proposed by Belgium. The Slovenian Presidency outlined the second ESPON Pilot Lab, which will take place on 20 October 2021, while ESPON presented the process and content of the working paper on the quality of life, which will be tabled for discussion among the directors-general responsible for spatial planning at the meeting on 26 October. In line with its priority to address the Western Balkans, the Slovenian Presidency presented the interest of the Territorial Group of the Western Balkan Network on Territorial Governance to cooperate in the activities related to the Territorial Agenda 2030, and the Presidency’s intention to invite the group to future events. As regards territorial cohesion, the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU has taken the initiative of the current Trio to promote links between the Territorial Agenda 2030 and the Urban Agenda for the EU.

The meeting was attended by representatives from 18 EU member states and European institutions and networks in the field of spatial development and territorial cohesion, the European Commission, the Committee of Regions, the European Grouping on Territorial Cooperation of the European Spatial Planning Observation Network (ESPON EGTC), the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and the European Association of Spatial Planners.

At a joint meeting of the Network of Territorial Cohesion Contact Points (NTCCP) and the Urban Development Group (UDG), which took place in the afternoon, the participants presented the topics linking the two agendas and then discussed possible ways and forms of future cooperation at the workshop that followed. Proposals for strengthening the links between the two agendas will also be included in the Presidency's conclusions on territorial cohesion and in the Ljubljana Agreement on the development of a new Urban Agenda for the EU, which is to be concluded by the ministers responsible for urban development in November this year.

The NTCCP meeting will take place in Ptuj on 27 September 2021.

It will be attended by representatives from EU member states and partner countries, the European Commission and other European institutions engaged in spatial development and territorial cohesion.

The meeting will be chaired by Mr Tomaž Miklavčič, representative of the Spatial Planning, Construction and Housing Directorate.

The main items on the agenda are related to the Territorial Agenda 2030, adopted last year, in particular its implementation, and the promotion of the use of priorities in the context of the green and just transition.  At the meeting, presentations will be made of six pilot actions launched with the adoption of the Territorial Agenda 2030, the renovated website through which the current Presidency, with the support of the NTCCP network, reaches stakeholders at European, national and regional levels, as well as of the integration of the Agenda priorities into Interreg programmes and their projects. 

The main part of the meeting will be devoted to a discussion on improving the quality of life in urban and rural areas, highlighted in the Territorial Agenda 2030 as an important development objective that is gradually gaining greater importance in both spatial and other public policies. Several related activities are being carried out under the Slovenian Presidency with the support of the ESPON programme, including the development of a working paper on the measurement of territorial quality of life (ESPON policy brief) and the involvement of "living labs", the ESPON Pilot Lab, the development of a national map on territorial quality of life, and the consultation at the European Week of Regions and Cities. Quality of life will also be the main topic of the ESPON seminar to be held on 1 and 2 December in Bled.