UN-Habitat works with partners to build inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and communities.

UN-Habitat promotes urbanization as a positive transformative force for people and communities, reducing inequality, discrimination and poverty.

© Shashi Yadav, unsplash.

Agency Overview

UN-Habitat established its Brussels Office in 2001 to facilitate smoother relationships and cross-fertilization between European Institutions, EU Member States, and UN-Habitat.

The Brussels Office conducts policy dialogue advocating for the integration of sustainable urban development in EU policies, builds partnerships, and mobilizes resources to achieve the New Urban Agenda globally.  It also supports operational activities in European Union countries and neighbouring nations.
The Liaison Office assists UN-Habitat headquarters and regional offices in identifying the priorities of European partners, developing new projects, and backstopping EU-funded programmes.

EU/UN-Habitat Partnership

The EU and the UN share similar policies and priorities at the global level, and both aim for their success.
The European Consensus on Development acknowledges cities as development drivers and emphasizes the importance of tackling urban inequality and slums. Priority areas include delivering basic services, promoting sustainable land use planning, mobility, smart cities, and enhancing cities’ resilience. In addition, the Consensus emphasises the significance of addressing climate change and adapting to it.

The European Union has made specific commitments to the New Urban Agenda. One of these commitments is the New Urban Agenda for the EU, which promotes multi-level governance and enhances the urban dimension of EU policies. UN-Habitat and the European Commission are working together on another commitment to promote the use of the Degree of Urbanisation as a new global definition of what constitutes a city and a method for aggregating sub-national urban data. This will allow for greater comparability of countries and their settlements, as well as better measurement and reporting on the implementation of the SDGs at the local level. 

With EU funding, UN-Habitat has contributed to the implementation of the vision outlined in the European Consensus on Development and the New Urban Agenda.

During the last financial framework of the European Union from 2014 to 2020, UN-Habitat received a total of USD 230 million to implement projects on sustainable urban development across the globe.

In the past years, the Brussels Office has managed several projects related to the institutional dialogue between the European Union and UN-Habitat. These projects relate to