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The future of Europe will be decided in its cities. Their capacity to tackle climate change, promote equal societies, attract business and investments, manage the digital transition, engage with citizens, is critical to build a healthy, fair, prosperous, democratic, sustainable continent. European and international networks of cities can help build this capacity and contribute to bridging the gap between EU decision makers and people. In an EU institutional framework that does not foresee a formal role for cities, such networks are key to make EU policies more impactful and meaningful for local realities.