The Forum “Cities and Regions for Development Cooperation” aims to strengthen the policy dialogue between the EU institutions and Local and Regional Authorities from both Europe and partner countries and among them. 

In particularly, the 2019 forum aims at:

Discuss policies and practices

on sustainable urban development among Local and Regional Authorities and their associations from the European Union and its partner countries

Issue strategic policy recommendations

in the field of sustainable urban development to the EU institutions

Formulate practical recommendations

to feed the European Commission's CSO/LA thematic programme – Call for proposals 2019-2020

Identify and showcase good practices,

initiatives and projects with scale-up potential in the areas of twinning and matchmaking between Local and Regional Authorities in the EU and Partner countries

The Forum


Cities take up less than 3% of the earth’s land surface, but they generate more than 70% of the global emissions and host more than 50% of the world’s population. This new situation, generated by a rapid urbanisation, creates and will create drastic challenges in terms of food security, housing, infrastructure, health, education, livelihoods, safety and natural resources. But cities are also powerhouses of economic growth, catalysts for inclusion and innovation, as well as hubs for ideas, commerce, culture, science, productivity and social development. In other terms, cities have a key role to play to address the social, economic and environmental facets of development; therefore, several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have clear urban dimensions, while SDG11 of the 2030 Agenda specifically focuses on “Making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”.

The New European Consensus places Local and Regional Authorities at the very heart of any policy that falls under the 5 Ps, namely People, Peace, Partnership, Planet and Prosperity and acknowledges the achievement of most of the SDGs as strongly dependent on the active involvement of Local and Regional Authorities. It also commits the EU and Member States to strengthen their cooperation through decentralised cooperation and twinning.

The key role played by decentralised cooperation, twinning and peer-to-peer exchanges between Local and Regional Authorities in localising the SDGs is also strongly underlined by a recent study carried out by the European Commission and the OECD.

It is in this context that the EU is organising a Forum on “Cities and Regions for Development Cooperation – Local and regional partnerships for sustainable urban development” which will bring together EU institutions and Local and Regional Authorities from the EU and from Partner countries.

Co-organised by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO) and the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), this Forum represents the continuation of "Les Assises de la Coopération Décentralisée” organised for the first time in 2009. Subsequent editions took place every other year, always conceived as unique space for policy dialogue on development cooperation carried out by European and Partner countries Local and Regional Authorities.


With the support of

CEMR Platforma
UCLG Africa

Signatory organisations of Framework Partnership Agreements
with the European Commission

European Associaton of Development Agencies (EURADA)
Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy
Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa
Covenant of Mayors Office for Climate and Energy EUROPE
Nicosia Initiative


The first part of the Forum will be organised around panel discussions, while the second part is built on an interactive “Open Space” methodology “, clustered around the 5Ps of the New European Consensus.

In the spirit of the New European Consensus on Development, the second part of the Forum will focus on the “5Ps”. In this session, participants will be able to discuss topics of their interest, interact and generate insights and recommendations directed to the European institutions, through cross-fertilization of ideas. This participatory approach will ensure the ownership of all stakeholders and allow them to actively shape the event conveying policy recommendations to the European Institutions.

Additional activities organised alongside the Forum will include:

- An exhibition with stands presenting relevant decentralised cooperation initiatives

- Associated events organised by partners after the main event at different premises, to maximize synergies

We really look forward to meeting you in Brussels on 4-5 February 2019!


Given the rapid urbanisation, global challenges such as poverty eradication, climate change, conflicts, forced displacement and migration are to be dealt with, more and more in urban areas where Local authorities play an important role in addressing these challenges, including as front-liners of crises and emergencies.

The importance of the urban dimension is underlined in the recent international and EU policy documents, such as the 2030 Agenda (especially art 11: ‘Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’), the European Consensus on Development, the New Urban Agenda and the Global Climate Action Agenda.

This is why the 2019 Conference on Cities and Regions for development cooperation will focus on how to reach sustainable urban development using the dynamic of city pairings and teaming-up European and partner country local authorities. Discussions and knowledge sharing will include round tables on specific sub-topics such as urban planning, climate change, inclusiveness, migration, public finance management etc.

Practical information

The Forum Cities and Regions for Development Cooperation will take place at:

European Committee of the Regions 
rue Belliard 99-101 
B-1040 Brussels

on February 04-05, 2019



For questions about the Forum, please contact us at:

Contact the Forum Organizers Team

Phone: +32 2 2370955 / +32 2 2905550
Fax: +32 (0)2 644 35 94

Tel: +32 2 237 09 55

​​European Committee of the Regions
Bâtiment Jacques Delors
Rue Belliard 99-101
B - 1040 Brussels