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A drive to develop a European approach to creating sustainable...
A drive to develop a European approach to creating sustainable

communities was launched today by the deputy prime minister John


In his keynote address to the Delivering Sustainable Communities

Summit in Manchester, Mr Prescott said he wanted to use the UK

presidency of the European Union to set up a new, Europe-wide

framework for creating places where people want to live.

Mr Prescott said this would provide a forum for exchanging views and

experiences across the member states. It would build on work already

taken forward by previous presidencies and could be particularly

relevant to Eastern European states that have recently joined the EU.

The idea received strong support from European partners during

discussions at the Summit yesterday, and Mr Prescott will use a

high-level meeting of European ministers, later this year, to

consider how to achieve sustainable communities in the context of

emerging regional policy.

Mr Prescott said:

'We are in a new era where East and West are coming together. There

is a new political order and a new commitment to do things


'There are huge challenges in the new Europe. The expansion of the EU

to form 25 nations with over 450 million people has brought together

two different political and economic traditions.

'The UK's presidency will be an opportunity to discuss a European

approach to creating sustainable communities. Such thinking could

create a new framework to consider the emerging regional policy.'

At the heart of Mr Prescott's initiative will be the UK's new Academy

for Sustainable Communities, which was launched at the summit, an

international event involving 2000 delegates, the largest of its kind

ever staged in the UK.

The academy will be based in Leeds and will be supported by a network

of regional centres throughout the country.

Mr Prescott added:

'The academy will be an international centre of excellence. I want it

to join forces with the Congress for New Urbanism in the United

States and other leading centres in Europe and around the world. It

will have a really strong European outlook and has huge potential for

developing new ideas and thinking on sustainable communities.'


1. The UK assumes the presidency of the EU in July this year. Mr

Prescott will be hosting an informal meeting of European ministers.

2. The new Academy for Sustainable Communities was a key

recommendation from the Egan Review of Skills. It will work with a

wide range of occupations and stakeholders to develop the integrated

skills needed to deliver places that people want to live and work.

3. Mr Prescott announced his decision to base the Academy in Leeds at

the Creating Sustainable Communities Summit in Manchester today.

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