Interreg MED Piazza: where citizens and EU Institutions meet for the future of Europe
The Participatory Laboratory was an interactive session animated by the Interreg MED Communities. Ms Echave from the Renewable Energy Community presented the aim of the session which focused on MED Communities results regarding relevant concerns in the Mediterranean. The session was animated by 3 main spaces: a) the Bar Terrace, a debating and learning exercise for raising citizens‘ engagement on sustainability; b) the Civic Parliament, participative experience about policy decision process; c) the LEGO corner for modelling concepts.
CIVIC PARLIAMENT CONCLUSIONS
Three different tables corresponding to three main parties were organised, participants were asked to draw up a list of priorities regarding the climate emergency in the MED area. President Ms Bresso (EU Parliament member). Rapporteur: Mr Filippi (Fundacion Mussol).
Innovation Party: Facilitated by Mr Cacciutolo (EB Community) and Ms Boni (Eurocities). “There is a huge gap between 'inventors' and 'implementers' of the innovation. A comprehensive process of capacity building, legislative reforms should be implemented to enable public authorities to use the already existing innovation and spread as broadly as possible.”
Low Carbon Economy Party: Facilitated by Mr Ceh (RES Community) and Mr Deacon (Climate Alliance). “An integral low carbon planning should be applied both in the rural and the urban areas, paying attention to the connections between them. Such territorial planning should avoid land consumption and should improve the sustainable management of the suburban areas.”
Natural and Cultural Resources Party: Facilitated by Ms Brancaleoni (Panoramed) and Ms Oistoc (Preko Island). “Lack of a MED governance structure and common strategy for development. Circular economy is key to improve the natural resources management, especially in the islands. Local initiatives are crucial and more attention should be paid to 'people to people' initiatives. The MED basin should forge a common cultural identity with a common vision to promote a common strategy of sustainable development”.
THE BAR TERRACE CONCLUSIONS
Two tables were organised: 1) Green and Blue Economy + Sustainable Coastal Areas table, facilitated by Ms Guzzon (Blue Growth Community) and Mr Staelens (Urban Transports Community); 2) Energy Transition table facilitated by Ms Boulanger (RES Community). Participants learned the main results achieved by MED Communities through playing out the problems and finding solutions and discussed how to raise citizens awareness on these topics. Rapporteur: Ms Zoppeddu (ArcoLatino). “The MED basin lacks a governance institution – funded by the EU – that supports a MED macro strategy of sustainable development and encourages involvement of cities and regions.”
LEGO GAME CONCLUSIONS
Participants were invited to build the following concepts: social and territorial innovation, low carbon cities, sustainable tourism, blue and green economy.
Take away message
In upcoming years, Mediterranean territories will face an increasing number of challenges. Territorial cooperation offers a great opportunity to enable regions and cities to play the key role they deserve in shaping and implementing innovative policies for a greener and smarter future. Joining forces, building capacity, engaging citizens and the private sector, promoting governance innovation and exploiting the human capital available will be crucial to trigger the change of mindset needed to design new solutions for better policies and actions.