Interreg MED Piazza: where citizens and EU Institutions meet for the future of Europe

Wed 9, October 2019
11:30 - 13:00 CET

The Interreg MED Piazza offers the experience of a holistic and multi-stakeholder policymaking process through the participation in interactive activities, such as games and debates focusing on strategies for a greener, smarter and more connected future for Europe. The lab takes inspiration from Interreg MED Communities’ experiences, where almost 900 public and private organisations from 13 Euro-Mediterranean countries join forces in territorial cooperation projects to shape policies for sustainable development and cohesive communities in more resilient ecosystems.

Citizens and EU Institutions meet at the “Interreg MED piazza” participatory lab to shape a more inclusive and sustainable future grounded on territorial cooperation projects on innovation, green and blue growth, tourism, urban transport, renewable energy and efficient buildings.

A square - piazza - is the most iconic space where community’s exchanges took place and showcase the basic citizens rights in public space: 1) walkability; 2) leisure; 3) culture & knowledge; 4) expression, and 5) exchange.

At our Piazza you will walk through four corners to experience the In­terreg MED holistic cooperation approach.

_ At the “Civic Parliament” you will experience a participatory decision-making process;

_ at the “Bar Terrace” you will exchange knowledge and information with ex­perts from the Interreg MED communities;

_ at our “Construction Site” you will experience a Lego Serious Play® creative and abstract activity with a certified trainer;

_ and finally in the “Playground” you will learn, through gamified activities designed by our Communities, strategic issues of sustainable lifestyle such as energy microgrids and mobility.

The session will count with the participation of relevant personalities such as Mrs. Mercedes Bresso former MEP and President of the Piemonte Region; Mrs. Ana-Lisa Boni, Secretary General of EuroCities; Mrs. Roberta Frisoni deputy Major of Rimini for Mobility and Regional Planning, Jure Brizic Major of Preko, Agnès Rampal Member of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Regional Council; and Andy Deacon Policy Coordinator at Climate Alliance.



Cynthia ECHAVE, Project Manager, BCN Ecologia, Spain.
Ermete Mariani, Communication Manager, UNIMED - Mediterranean Universities Union, Italy.
Mercè BOY ROURA, Project manager, University of Vic / Central University of Catalonia, Spain.
Anna Lisa Boni, Secretary General, Eurocities, Belgium.
Alexia Boulanger, Senior Specialist, Environment Park Spa, Italy.
Caterina Brancaleoni, Head of Unit, Regione Emilia Romagna, Italy.
Mercedes Bresso, Member of European Parliament, European Parliament, Italy.
Jure Brizic, Mayor of Preko, Preko Municipality, Croatia.
Maxime CACCIUTOLO HEIDEL, Project Manager, Euromed Cities Network / City of Nice, France.
Giovanni Camorali, Director, Oporthecnics, France.
Danilo Ceh, Senior Project Manager, SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH CENTRE BISTRA PTUJ, Slovenia.
Matilde Chinellato, Project Coordinator - Mobility, EUROCITIES, Belgium.
Nathalie Clauter, Project Manager, UNIMED - Mediterranean Universities Union, Italy.
Andy Deacon, Policy Coordinator, Climate Alliance, Belgium.
Claudia Guzzon, Project and Policy Officer, CPMR, Spain.
Ermete Mariani, Communication Manager, UNIMED - Mediterranean Universities Union, Italy.
Francesca Spagnoli, Head of International projects, European Network of Living Labs - ENoLL, Belgium.
Milena Zoppeddu, Project manager, Arco Latino, Spain.
Participatory Lab - world café, ideas labs
A Europe Closer to Citizen
Agenzia coesione, Arco Latino, BCNecologia, City of Nice, EUROCITIES, UNIMED
English (EN)

Session summary

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.



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”.


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.”


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.