From 2007 European cities will have more power and autonomy within the programmes co-financed by the European Union Structural Funds, if the latest proposals for the guidelines and regulations are confirmed. At a Ministerial meeting in Bristol on 7 December, held as part of the current UK presidency, representatives of all 25 member states and the four candidate countries backed proposals from Regional Commissioner Danuta Hubner to recognise the lead role of cities in urban regeneration in the 2007-13 programmes.
Danuta Hubner told ministers at the meeting on sustainable communities that she proposed delegation of urban regeneration to the cities themselves and offered mechanisms to support that. 'Whilst many key powers are held at national and regional level it is cities which are best placed to improve access to local services and to reduce disparities,' the Commissioner added.