Session about plurilinguanism and promotion of minority/regional languages

European Committee of the Regions (Brussels), 25th September 2018

On the 25th September a working session about plurilingualism, intercultural understanding and promotion of minority and regional languages took place in the European Committee of the Regions in order to celebrate the European Day of Languages (26 September).

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Progressive Society Conference

Change the European Economic Model, for the many

European Parliament (Brussels), 5th September 2018

Nowadays inequalities affect all of us: social, economic, regional and environmental inequalities involve almost every facet of the everyday life of EU citizens. Many are the challenges in the fields of social inclusion, innovation, education social housing and renewable energy infrastructure. In order to ensure a more equal, sustainable and progressive society, Europe needs to change its economic model.

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Sustainability in Europe

Martin's Brussels Hotel, 15th of April 2018

The Martin’s Brussels Hotel in Boulevard de Charlemagne saw, on the past 15th of April, a presentation on the current issues on sustainable development that are being discussed in the neighbouring Berlaymont building, notorious home to the European Commission in Brussels. Some honourable experts and EU policymakers attended the meeting and turned it into a high-profile panel discussion on the need for an urgent, effective and immediate response to the unsustainable production and consumption system the EU countries are following.

Careless use of resources is leading to an unsustainable path towards development creating something similar to a vicious circle, where powerful business interests and a longstanding negligence of the problem by the Member States seem to do nothing to redress it. A weak enforcement of the EU climate regulations and a somewhat lacking policy-making effort by the Member States are to blame for the virtually inexistent change in the climate figures over the last 10 years throughout the continent. The Paris Protocol and the 12 UN Sustainable Development Goals seem to have fallen into wet paper, but the member of the Budget Committee in the European Parliament Mr. Petri Sarvamaa was clear to point out that these are nonetheless the appropriate baselines on which we need to build the future agenda on sustainability. In fact, he revealed that the Parliament’s goal for Horizon 2020 is to raise the Commission’s climate budget from the 19,4% of the recent 2018 proposal to an ideal 30%. Mr Janez Potocnik, former EU Commissioner for Environment, likewise drew the attention to the 1992 Rio Conventions on Sustainability, calling for the creation of a new instrument to unify such three conventions adapting them to the current European economic model. This instrument shall be the MFF, expected to be released by summer 2019, a document that has been at the centre of the discussion throughout the conference. Many expectations are put on the MFF, judging by the speakers’ interventions, as a milestone in climate change policies and gamechanging sustainable development measures which must be, according to Mr. Potocnik, the result of a common effort of all Member States to sacrifice part of their sovereignty for the sake of the planet.

An interesting insight into the autonomous territory of Aland, in the Finnish peninsula, provided the audience with an extraordinary example of a global and long-term sustainable governance with no precedent, which despite the small size of the country can be scalable to a wider European level. This possibility raises the hopes of many of the experts that gathered at the event, as long as – hopefully – the Member States are finally able to set their differences and economic interests aside and start focusing on the much more concerning issue of protecting the planet for generations to come.

Civil society and municipalities: building sustainability through collaboration

Committee of the Regions (Brussels), 20th September 2018

The conference was organized by ECOLISE and the EESC (European Economic and Social Committee), together with Transition Network and the European Committee of the Regions. Its aim was to discover and to share new ways to support and achieve common objectives through a bottom-up approach, in order to create an equitable, sustainable and low-carbon society. 

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A Europe closer to citizens?

The urban and territorial dimension of Cohesion Policy post-2020

European Parliament (Brussels), 4th September 2018

Cohesion policy is the European Union's strategy to promote and support the ‘overall harmonious development’ of its Member States and regions. It is enshrined in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (Art. 174) and it aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion by reducing disparities in the level of development between regions.

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The EU Manifesto on Influenza Vaccination

The Renaissance Hotel, 24th April 2018

IMG 20180424 132423

The sophisticated hotel in Brussels hosted an outstanding event with the most skilful researchers and notable representatives of European health and medical institutions, who came together to present a manifesto on the need to expand the coverage of Influenza vaccination in Europe.

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Cluster meeting for European Policy experimentation projects 2016
Support for policy reform, initiatives for policy innovation 

European Commission (Brussels), 18th September 2018

Under the Project of EACEA 34/2015 ten European policy experimentation projects were selected in the field of education, training and youth. On the 18 September 2018 participants met for the third time to share information about how their projects, which sometimes are shared with partners from others countries, are going, to expose their difficulties and to try to find common solutions.

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Whither European asylum policy?

Brussels, may 30th 2018

 It is unquestionable that the recent waves of population who have fled their home in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries have caused one of the most severe humanitarian crisis in modern history. The geographical proximity, the relatively easy accessibility by land and the welfare-based State governance of Europe have turned into the main destination point for the more than two million refugees who arrived since 2015.

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Building Climate Resilience

Friends of Europe HQ, 24th April 2018

The exponential rise in the intensity and frequency of extreme events have largely proofed that the nexus between climate and resilience is becoming more and more evident. Throughout the conference “Building Climate Resilience”, Friends of Europe caught the occasion to open the debate on how could we feasibly build resilient states and communities to enable local territories and stakeholders to decrease their exposure to vulnerabilities and consequently, to better absorb changes.

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