Europe

EU ministers endorse pact aimed at improving life in cities

European Union ministers meeting in the Dutch capital have endorsed a "Pact of Amsterdam" aimed at improving living conditions in towns and cities throughout the 28-nation bloc.

With 70 percent of the EU's 500 million people living in urban areas, the deal signed Monday gives cities more influence in EU legislation and easier access to funds for urban projects. The Dutch government says key themes include integrating migrants into urban populations, improving air quality and tackling poverty.

Corina Cre?u, the European Commissioner for regional policy, says the pact "shows that we are putting urban matters higher on our agenda and are ready to listen more to our cities when it comes to what works for them and what needs to be improved."