logo EMA
About EMA

European Metropolitan Authorities (EMA) is a forum for leading politicians from Europe's main cities and metropolitan areas. This initiative was presented in 2015 by the Barcelona Metropolitan Area and has become a platform for political dialogue among metropolitan areas and cities, European institutions and national governments.

The main goal of EMA is to provide a space to discuss the challenges of European metropolitan governance and define the basis for collaboration between Europe's major metropolises. This joint work is reflected in studies, meetings and projects, and in an annual forum concluding with a political declaration adopted by the participants, advocating for a metropolitan dimension of European policies. EMA has also become an active platform for dialogue with high representatives of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions.

Why EMA?

Nowadays, more than 70% of the European population lives in urban areas, and 3/5 are settled in metropolitan areas. Contemporary metropolises have become places for welfare and opportunity and drivers of innovation and productivity. However, challenges such as unemployment, poverty, lack of affordable housing, mobility issues and air pollution are also concentrated in metropolitan areas. We need a supra-local approach to tackle these challenges at the appropriate scale. Metropolitan governance provides the necessary framework and plays an essential role in ensuring social cohesion and quality of life in the EU.

Metropolitan areas and cities are crucial for the development of efficient policies at local, regional, national and European levels. The creation of a space for political debate like EMA seeks to offer a place where European metropolises can share experience, foster joint projects, and bring common position and interests before the European Union and member states, all together with the aim of providing the necessary understanding and cooperation between European and metropolitan governance levels in reaching the intended social, economic and environmental goals.

EMA facilitates the discussion about these issues among representatives of European metropolises with similar urban realities, holding an annual forum to share experience and solutions, and join forces, all done in close collaboration with relevant European and global networks such as Metropolis, Eurocities and Metrex.

EMA's annual forum

The EMA forum is held annually in a different metropolis.

  • Helsinki 2023

    The EMA 2023 forum, held in Helsinki, focused on climate change mitigation through ecological and digital solutions. Representatives of 25 European metropolises, the Finnish Minister of Climate Change, and representatives from the Metropolis and Metrex networks, as well as UN Habitat, convened in the Finnish capital to discuss common strategic solutions and propose ideas for the future European Commission and European Parliament. The shared objective is to harness the innovation potential of regions, energy and circular economy solutions, as well as green and digital methods as drivers of European development.

    Helsinki 2023

  • Katowice 2022
    Imatge de grup


    The Metropolitan Area of Katowice (Metropolia GZM) hosts the seventh edition of the European Metropolitan Authirities on 26 and 27 June with the participation of twenty political representatives from the main metropolises in Europe to discuss how to make our metropolises more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.


  • Porto 2021
    Imatge de grup


    This year the sixth edition of EMA's annual forum was take place in Porto during November 11th and 12th. The upcoming edition was focus on the metropolitan financial recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic and the transition towards more sustainable and smart cities, with a special mention in to transport and mobility, climate neutrality, digital transformation, recovery and governance.

    Porto 2021


  • Lyon 2019
    Imatge de grup


    EMA's 5th edition was held in Lyon on June 4-5 2019, as part of the 2nd International Social Housing Festival. This year's forum, which was attended by political representatives from 26 cities and metropolitan areas, focused on metropolitan social challenges, such as metropolitan governance for social and territorial cohesion, inclusive economic growth, and urban planning providing social solutions for all.

    Lyon 2019


  • Rome 2018
    Imatge de grup a fora del recinte


    The fourth edition of the EMA Forum was held in Rome on October 2018 with the participation of political representatives from 22 cities and metropolitan areas. The main topic was Europe for Metropolises, where the participants discussed about the new challenges for metropolitan areas regarding environment, sustainable mobility, global economy and social policies.

    Rome 2018


  • Warsaw 2017
    Imatge de grup a l'escenari


    25 cities and metropolitan areas participated in the EMA 2017 held in Warsaw, where they discussed issues such as metropolitan solidarity, the role of metropolitan areas in the post-2020 EU Cohesion Policy, and shared best practices of collaboration among metropolitan areas. The conference culminated with the signing of the Warsaw Declaration by all participants, supporting the continuity of Cohesion Policy beyond 2020 and calling for a greater role of metropolitan areas in it.

    Warsaw 2017


  • Turin 2016
    Tori 2016


    The Forum EMA "Towards an agenda metropolitan Common" was held in Turin on 12 February 2016, with the participation of the major international networks and organisations, such as the Dutch presidency of the EU, and political representatives from 32 cities in 16 countries (22 new cities compared to the previous year), including the European metropolitan areas of Paris, Lyon, Madrid, Bilbao, Vienna, Budapest, Warsaw, Stuttgart, Athens, Helsinki, Poznan, Milan, Florence, Bologna, and Lisbon.

    Turin 2016


  • Barcelona 2015
    Barcelona 2015


    Barcelona hosted the first EMA meeting "Conference on Metropolitan Governance and Territorial Competitiveness" on 13 March 2015, with political representatives from 15 cities in 10 different countries (Vienna, Paris, Brussels, Turin, Bologna, Toulouse, Porto, Rennes, Lille, Marseille, Liverpool, Warsaw, Oslo, Novi Sad and Barcelona), as well as the OECD and other global and European networks of cities (UCLG, Metropolis, Eurocities, METREX, FMDV, and Medcities).

    In the first EMA forum, European policy makers were able to share and know about other local authorities' actions to ensure sustainable, competitive and socially inclusive urban development.

    The AMB opened up, thus, a space of political debate to build together the future European metropolises, led by proactive, dynamic, innovative and opened to participation metropolitan authorities, to improve the welfare of citizens.

    Barcelona 2015