Contemporary metropolises have become complex, autonomous and diverse entities, in which the needs and interests of citizens are manifested. European major cities and metropolitan areas need to build alliances and actively defend their interests together, if they want to have a real role in our current complex governance structures.
Thus, the creation of a space for political debate like EMA aims at sharing experiences among European metropolitan areas, fostering joint projects, promoting and defending their interests, since metropolitan areas and cities are decisive in making local, regional, national and European development work more efficiently. Good understanding and cooperation between the European and the metropolitan levels of governance are crucial for reaching our social, economic and environmental goals.
Moreover, European metropolitan areas share common threats and opportunities concerning basic public services, social exclusion, housing, safety, or economic, social and environmental sustainability. These new agendas coming from the citizens’ proximity urgent needs may differ depending on the characteristics of each metropolitan reality, but they are always transferred to the closest authorities – without them necessarily having the adequate resources or regulatory frameworks. EMA makes it possible to debate all these issues among representatives of European metropolises with similar urban realities, holding an annual forum in which they can share experiences, solutions and join forces. This is done in close cooperation with relevant European and global networks such as Metropolis, Eurocities or Metrex.