15 March 2024

Brussels, Belgium

Translating the EU green deal into local action

Conference for local and regional leaders

#MayorsGreenDeal
Green Deal

Are you a European mayor who is ‘fit for 55’? Then we welcome you to join us on 15 March 2024 in Brussels, together with 550 other local and regional leaders. This conference on Translating the Green Deal into Local Action is held during the Belgian EU presidency. This is the perfect moment right before the EU elections to send a clear message to European policymakers for the post-2024 era. Just like you, we believe that the local level should be embedded in the heart of the Green Deal because it has the power to mobilize. It’s time to let the mayors speak!

The conference aims to highlight the way forward for the implementation of the EU Green Deal. What we need is a new multilevel governance framework, with bridges between the EU initiatives and more direct funding solutions. Be inspired during the conference by the best practices across Europe and share your own. Experience in-depth sessions with experts from the local to the European level. Share a glass with other local leaders while building strong connections for the future.

Post-2024 recommendations

At the conference, the Committee of the Regions will formally hand over the Declaration of European local and regional leaders to Alexander De Croo (Prime Minister of Belgium). This Declaration with a clear set of recommendations and signed by 550 mayors and regional leaders from across Europe will be very powerful. To make sure our voices are heard, we are welcoming you to the heart of the EU: the Hemicycle of the European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions in Brussels.

Flemish inspiration

The inspiration behind this conference is the Flemish Local Energy and Climate Pact (LECP). The LECP translates abstract and long-term goals into tangible targets that everyone can relate and contribute to. We want to share our experience and learn from similar initiatives elsewhere in Europe so everyone can extrapolate these no-regret measures to fit their local context.

Programme

Morning: Plenary Session

in the Hemicycle of the European Parliament

07:30 - 08:30

Registration and welcome coffee

09:00 - 09:40

Political Plenary opening session

Hosted by Gwendolyn Rutten (Vice-Minister-President of Flanders) and Maroš Šefčovič (Executive Vice-President of the European Commission and European Commissioner of the European Green Deal, Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight).

09:40 - 10:30

1st Panel: Innovative Multilevel Governance

  • Kurt Vandenberghe (Director-General of DG CLIMA, European Commission)
  • Anne Hidalgo (Mayor of Paris)
  • Janez Potočnik (Co-Chair of the International Resource Panel and former European Commissioner for Science and Research and for Environment (SI))
  • Joško Klisović (President of the City Assembly of Zagreb and Rapporteur of ENVE commission of the European Committee of the Regions (HR))
  • Bart Somers (Mayor of Mechelen)
  • Fiorenza Pascazio (Mayor of Bitetto and President of Anci Puglia, National Association of Italian Municipalities, Puglia section (IT))

10:30 - 10:55

Signing of Declaration and coffee break

10:55 - 11:45

2nd Panel: Empowering and financing the cities’ transition

  • Patrick Child (Deputy Director General, DG Environment, European Commission)
  • François Rebsamen (Mayor of Dijon (FR), former French Minister)
  • Emil Boc (Mayor of Cluj-Napoca and chair of the COTER commission of the European Committee of the Regions)
  • Mohamed Ridouani (Mayor of Leuven (BE))
  • Diana Pretzell (Deputy Mayor for Climate and Environment of Mannheim (DE))

11:45 - 12:35

3rd Panel: The Energy Union: Showcasing impact to the livelihood of citizens & companies

  • Matthew Baldwin (Deputy Director General of DG ENER, European Commission)
  • Andries Gryffroy (member of the Flemish Parliament (BE) and member of the European Committee of the Regions)
  • Minna Arve (Mayor of Turku (FI))
  • Jürgen Czernohorszky (Executive City Councillor for Climate and Environment of Vienna (AT))

12:35 - 12:45

Closing statement

Handing over of Declaration of European local and regional leaders to Alexander De Croo (Prime Minister of Belgium)

12:45 - 14:30

Lunch break

Afternoon: Parallel In-depth Sessions

in the Committee of the Regions

14:30 - 16:00

Sharing best practices from across Europe. Learn from various multi-level governance initiatives. Define the cornerstones of a post-2024 framework.

1. Fit for 55 translated into local solutions

Objectives of the session:

  • Dive deep into the concrete realities of front-running municipalities and regions creating pathways towards climate neutrality.
  • Showcase ready-to-replicate approaches and integrated solutions to make the Green Deal a reality and be Fit for 55.
  • Present and discuss the drivers for energy and climate transformation: case studies of local/regional ecosystems geared towards climate neutrality.
  • Bring the EU policy instruments closer to our communities and companies: one-stop shops and energy agencies as enablers of EU goals and policies’ implementation.

Speakers:

  • Moderator: Seamus Hoyne (Chair of Tipperary Energy Agency (IE), Coordinator of the ManagEnergy initiative and Dean of Technological Institute of Shannon, Ireland)
  • Julije Domac (Special Advisor on Energy and Climate of the Croatian President of Republic, Managing director of the North-West Regional Agency)
  • Vlasta Krmelj (Mayor of Selnica ob Dravi (SI), Director of the Podravje Regional Energy and Climate Agency and member of the European Committee of the Regions)
  • Allison Gilliland (Dublin City Councillor (IE) and member of the European Committee of the Regions)
  • Tine Heyse (Deputy Mayor for Climate of Ghent (BE))
  • Paula Pinho (Director of Just Transition, Consumers, Energy Security, Efficiciency and Innovation of DG ENER, European Commission)

2. Planning for healthy and resilient cities

Objectives of the session:

  • Understand how urban spatial planning policies impact health and wellbeing and grasp the urgent need for transformative action now.
  • Explore key examples of integrated urban planning policies aimed at improving the quality of life for citizens and their co-benefits.
  • Consider how EU initiatives support the localization of the European Green Deal, boost planning policies for healthy and resilient cities, and what is needed to improve integrated planning at local level.

Speakers:

  • Moderator: Veronica Manfredi (Director of Zero Pollution, DG Environment, European Commission)
  • Niki Frantzeskaki (Chair Professor in Regional and Metropolitan Governance and Planning at Utrecht University, and Associate Professor of Sustainability Transitions Governance at the Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT) at Erasmus University)
  • Marieke Schouten (Alderwoman of the municipality of Nieuwegein (NL) and member of the European Committee of the Regions)
  • Hanna Zdanowska (Mayor of Łódź (PL))
  • Britta Behrendt (Permanent Sectretary, Berlin Senate Department for the Environment, Urban Mobility, Consumer Protection and Climate Action (DE))
  • Tristan Riom (Deputy Mayor of Nantes responsible for Energy and Buildings, and Vice President Nantes Metropole responsible for Climate, Pollution, Urban Forests and Resilience (FR))
  • Paulo Lopes Silva (Deputy Mayor of Guimaraes for Innovation, Digital Transition and Smart Cities (PT))

3. Local Green Deals: resource efficient, resilient, low-carbon and socially responsible

Objectives of the session:

  • Outline the importance of new ways of political leadership to implement the European Green Deal at the local and regional level.
  • Highlight how cities and regions are using local green deals and other forms of locally tailored solutions to become more resource-efficient and more circular, while stimulating job creation.
  • Present how cities are strengthening stakeholder engagement and harnessing technologies that lead to a decarbonized sustainable economy built around citizens' well-being.

Speakers:

  • Joana Drake (Deputy Director General of DG for Research and Innovation, European Commission)
  • Anna Athanasopoulou (Head of Unit for Proximity, Social Economy and Creative Industries of DG Grow, European Commission)
  • Lasse Frimand Jensen (Mayor of Aalborg (DK))
  • Markku Markkula (President of the Helsinki-Uusimaa Region (FI) and member of the European Committee of the Regions)
  • Martin Horn (Mayor of Freiburg (DE))
  • Brigitte Mouligneau (Transition Manager of Circular Flanders (BE))

16:00 - 17:30

Networking cocktail

Registration

Registration for the conference is now closed.

Practical information

The Hemicycle of the European Parliament

The Hemicycle of the European Parliament

Paul-Henri Spaak Building
Rue Wiertz / Wiertzstraat 60
B-1047 Brussels
Belgium

European Committee of the Regions

European Committee of the Regions

Rue Belliard 99-101
B-1040 Brussels​
Belgium

How to get there

  • By train: take the train to Brussels-Luxemburg
  • By bus: Lines 22, 27, 34, 38, 64, 80 and 95 all stop at the European Parliament. Lines 12 and 21 also connect to Brussels Airport.
  • By metro: The nearest stops are Maelbeek and Schuman on lines 1 and 5, and Trone on lines 2 and 6.

Accommodation

There are a few hotels in the vicinity of both venues. Underneath, you will find an overview with the hotels within walking distance.

Radisson RED Brussels

Idaliestraat 35
1050 Brussels
Belgium

You can find the reservation details here.

Renaissance Brussels Hotel

Parnassusstraat 19
1050 Brussels
Belgium

You can find the reservation details here.

Thon Hotel EU

Wetstraat 75
1040 Brussel
Belgium

You can find the reservation details here.

Other events

Make the most out of your trip to Belgium! Our suggestion for your program:

  • Friday: Start with our conference on Translating the Green Deal into Local Action on Friday 15 March.
  • Saturday & Sunday: Explore the Flanders Technology & Innovation Festival in Hasselt. Discover one of our Belgian cities like Brussel, Ghent or Antwerp.
  • Monday & Tuesday: Attend the European Summit of Regions and Cities on Monday.
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Flanders Technology & Innovation Festival: Saturday 16 to Thursday 21 March 2024 in Hasselt (Flanders, Belgium)

The transition to sustainable cities concerns everyone: entrepreneurs, policymakers, researchers, students, and citizens. Everyone is needed to create the future together, including you. Technological innovations are vital to this transition. But technology can only change the world through your involvement because technology is created by people and for people. Discover how people are using circular models, energy-positive neighborhoods, and sustainable food and water systems to prepare their homes, streets, businesses, neighborhoods or city for the future.

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10th European Summit of Regions and Cities: Monday 18 to Tuesday 19 March 2024 in Mons (Wallonia, Belgium)

The European Summit of Regions and Cities is the largest gathering organised by the European Committee of the Regions for local and regional elected representatives to meet, share and have their say on what is happening in the European Union and its future. If you are one of the 1,2 million locally and regionally elected representatives or you are involved in the life and future of your community, this is your place to be!

Contact us

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions: eu2024.abb@abbflanders.be.

Would you like us to include any good practices of your city or region at the conference? Please send us more information.

Media accreditation

Registration press