Writing in LGIU Briefing, John Taylor of Nottingham City Council, says the charter addresses the fact that while Europe is one of the world's most heavily urbanised areas, with 70% of its population living in cities, urban affairs have, compared to regional issues, traditionally been neglected by the European Union.
The charter was drawn up by members at a series of meetings in Brussels last Easter under the leadership of Walter Vitalli, mayor of Bologna, which currently acts as president of Eurocities.
The charter recognises cities as potentially the key motors for economic recovery, whilst at the same time locations of the EU's worst socio-economic and environmental problems writes cllr Taylor. 'How strange, therefore, that the commission in Brussels has no specific competency for urban affairs.'
Current UK members of Eurocities are Cardiff, Bristol, Birmingham, Nottingham, Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh.