Implementing Leipzig: urban development as part of an European governance framework

Koenraad Marchand

Onderzoeksoutput: Meeting abstract (Book)


Through 'Broad Economic Policy Guidelines', the European Union wants to focus on economic growth and employment. These guidelines fit in the Lisbon-agenda to transform the European economy towards a competitive and knowledge oriented economy. On the informal Ministerial conference in Leipzig, it has become clear that cities have to play a major role in this process. EU member states agreed to use the tool of 'integrated urban development' and to establish the necessary governance-framework for its implementation. In this paper, we will focus on this specific tool of 'integrated urban development' and on the consequences for its implementation in terms intergovernmental partnerships.
The tool of integrated urban development is interesting because it implies a concerted multi-issue policy-making. Economic, social and environmental policies are at stake within a same project. As a consequence, urban decision-makers have to cross over the sectoral boundaries of their institutions. At the same time, different tiers of government are involved in such projects, so intergovernmental cooperation is always a key aspect of these urban development policies.
The Leipzig Charter explicitly recommends a governance framework with local responsibilities for policy-making and coordination, as well as political engagement from the central level. While the latter is necessary to assure political and financial support from central government, the former is important to the management of urban development projects. In literature however, autonomy and influence often behave as a trade-off. It means that the more autonomous the city is, the less it can influence the central in order to get that support. In this paper we want to clarify how the EU, as a new supranational player, influences this trade-off in our cities.
We compare urban development projects in two Belgian cities, Gent in Flanders and Liège in Wallonia. Although these projects aim similar policy goals, the policy-processes and outcomes differ. We will address some main management and organisational issues that come along with the elaboration and implementation of these projects. Of coarse, urban development is not new for these cities and the specific institutional contexts and path dependencies help us to understand these different outcomes. But, during the last years, the EU positioned herself as a new key actor in urban development. EU-structural funds, for example, are becoming regular financial resources in most urban projects. We pay special attention to the effects this may have on the existing intergovernmental systems.
Originele taal-2English
UitgeverijEGPA annual conference Malta 2-6 sept. 2009
StatusPublished - 6 sep 2009
EvenementUnknown - Stockholm, Sweden
Duur: 21 sep 200925 sep 2009




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