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“Reinventing Europe through Local Initiative” – quite a challenging title for our conference on 19 - 20 February 2014!

  • Faced with unprecedented change and a crisis that has left large sections of the population, especially young people, by the wayside;
  • With a Europe bowing down to austerity policies, and with a growing indifference or even hostility among citizens towards the European project,

it was obviously a great risk to call this conference “Reinventing Europe through Local Initiative”!

But at the end of the day, it was a great success, as witnessed not only by the number and diversity of participants, but also by their appreciation of the opportunity to meet up and engage in high-quality and friendly discussions. There was also a notable complementarity between the various contributions, and a general sense of optimism about the potential of local initiative.

“Reinventing Europe through Local Initiative” is obviously a long-term project. Here at AEIDL, we would like in the course of the coming years to play a significant role in this new project, working hand in hand with all those who, within our beautiful Europe, are working on promising initiatives helping to shape the future. Why not join us?

The 88-page illustrated book reproduces the findings and perspectives, as well as the presentation of each of the 25 “promising initiatives” selected by AEIDL for the conference.

Available in English and French, in print and electronic versions, the publication is full of ideas that will continue and deepen discussions initiated in February 2014.

The printed version can be ordered from AEIDL by sending an email to this This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Read the book online

“Reinventing Europe through Local Initiative” – quite a challenging title for our conference on 19 - 20 February 2014!

  • Faced with unprecedented change and a crisis that has left large sections of the population, especially young people, by the wayside;
  • With a Europe bowing down to austerity policies, and with a growing indifference or even hostility among citizens towards the European project,

it was obviously a great risk to call this conference “Reinventing Europe through Local Initiative”!

But at the end of the day, it was a great success, as witnessed not only by the number and diversity of participants, but also by their appreciation of the opportunity to meet up and engage in high-quality and friendly discussions. There was also a notable complementarity between the various contributions, and a general sense of optimism about the potential of local initiative.

“Reinventing Europe through Local Initiative” is obviously a long-term project. Here at AEIDL, we would like in the course of the coming years to play a significant role in this new project, working hand in hand with all those who, within our beautiful Europe, are working on promising initiatives helping to shape the future. Why not join us?

Gallery

Wednesday 19 February 2014

(European Parliament, Brussels)

13:00 – 13:30 Opening

Questions & Answers

13:30 – 15:00 Demonstrating the power of local

  • Tot Raval promoting social cohesion in a district of Barcelona (Spain)

Elisa Covelo O’Neill

  • Együtt Egymásért: “Together for Each Other” (Hungary)

Imre “Zorro” Mata

  • REALIS - Social innovation ecosystem in Languedoc-Roussillon (France)

Michel Dupoirieux

  • The Valley of the Carp (Poland)

Marta Kamińska

  • ECOLISE - The European Network for Community-Led initiatives on Climate Change and Sustainability
  • Eamon O'Hara

Questions & Answers

15:15 – 16:00 Debating the road ahead

  • Local development - A force for global transformation?

Chris Brooks - Expert in international economic cooperation

  • Local development and prospects for Europe

Marjorie Jouen - Special Advisor, Notre Europe-Jacques Delors Institute

Questions & Answers

16:00 - 16:30 Political perspectives for local development and Europe

  • Kinga Göncz - Member of the European Parliament, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats
  • Eric Andrieu - Member of the European Parliament, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats
  • Hannes Lorenzen - The Greens / European Free Alliance

16:30 – 17:00 Building a shared vision
Débat

17:30 Group photo in front of the European Parliament

18:00 – 21.30 Inauguration of AEIDL’s newly renovated building, networking, cocktail & dinner

Thursday 20 February 2014

(Le Bouche-à-Oreille, Rue Félix Hap 11, 1040 Brussels)

09:30 – 10:00 “The Europe beneath Europe”
François Saint-Ouen - Senior Lecturer at the Global Studies Institute of the University of Geneva and Secretary General of the European Cultural Centre

10:00 – 11:00 Parallel workshops (Part 1)

Workshop 1: Social Cohesion / Social Inclusion< /p>

  • Sustainable citizen neighbourhoods (Brussels, Belgium)
  • Tot Raval promoting social cohesion in a district of Barcelona (Spain)
  • OCM broadens ‘museum’ concept for South Tyrol citizens (Alto Adige, Italy)
  • "Horta à Porta": Community gardening in Porto (Portugal)

Workshop 2: Territorial development / Renewable energy / Climate change / Quality of life

  • Sustainable Island Samsø (Denmark)
  • ECOLISE, The European Network for Community-Led initiatives on Climate Change and Sustainability
  • Supernatural transforms a landfill into a park (Belgrade, Serbia)
  • "Transition Town Totnes" - A world first (United Kingdom)
  • Locality, a network of development trusts, community enterprises, settlements and social action centres (England, United Kingdom)

Workshop 3: Social enterprise / Social inclusion / Gender issues

  • Együtt Egymásért - “Together for Each Other” (Cserehát, Hungary)
  • “Spazio Ragazzi”: Social agriculture for young people (Italy)
  • SEWA: Serving the needs of self-employed women (India)
  • Rural development in the Kavar basin (Turkey)

11:15 – 12:15 Parallel workshops (Part 2)

Workshop 4: Social inclusion / Social economy / Local circuits

  • “Union Gewerbehof” - A cooperative business centre (Dortmund, Germany)
  • Le Zeybu Solidaire (Grenoble, France)
  • REALIS - Social innovation ecosystem in Languedoc-Roussillon (France)
  • Torino Social Innovation (Turin, Italy)

Workshop 5: Social enterprise / Social inclusion / Territorial development

  • Cooperation, key to Limerick’s Southill regeneration (Ireland)
  • Job opportunities for all (Karditsa, Greece)
  • The Valley of the Carp (Lower Silesia, Poland)
  • Solidarity with evicted Roma families leads to local development initiatives (Cluj-Napoca Romania)

Workshop 6: Territorial development

  • Local Development in Lapland (Finland)
  • RUAB: A local community owned social enterprise (Sweden)
  • Regional brand boosts rural development (Nitra, Slovakia)
  • Latvia’s 1st Rural Communities Parliament gets underway (Latvia)

12:20 – 13:00 Visioning, local action and the way ahead

Michael Dower - University of Gloucestershire (England)

Márta Márczis - President of AEIDL

The European project is in need of renewal. A growing disconnect between the EU and its citizens threatens the democratic legitimacy of the EU.

It compounds its inability to keep pace with the needs and interests of local communities, which continue to feel the impact of the economic crisis and austerity, and are increasingly concerned by the pace of EU and government action on challenges such as social inequalities, the rise of populism, territorial disparities, climate change and ecological degradation.

The inadequate response to these issues has raised questions about the EU’s governance system, which seems complex and out of touch with the concerns of citizens.

We believe there is another way!

Read the contribution

These 25 initiatives were presented at the AEIDL conference "Reinventing Europe through Local Initiative" (Brussels, 19-20 February 2014).

01 A landfill transformed into a park Belgrade Serbia
02 Local development in Finnish Lapland Sodankylä Finland
03 Job opportunities for all Karditsa Greece
04 Cooperation, key to Southill regeneration Limerick Ireland
05 Open City Museum Bolzano Italy
06 Latvia’s Rural Communities Parliament Riga Latvia
07 The Valley of the Carp Milicz Poland
08 Building bridges in rural Röstånga Röstånga Sweden
09 Transition Town Totnes Totnes United Kingdom
10 ECOLISE Brussels European network
11 ‘Le Zeybu’, a fair trade market for Eybens Eybens France
12 ‘Sustainable Neighbourhoods’ Brussels Belgium
13 Europe’s Renewable Energy Isle Samsø Denmark
14 Community-led ‘Locality’ development London English network
15 A cooperative business centre Dortmund Germany
16 REALIS - A network for social innovation Montpellier France
17 Tot Raval promoting social cohesion Barcelona Spain
18 Together for each other Fulókércs Hungary
19 Torino Social Innovation Turin Italy
20 SEWA, for self-employed women Ahmedabad India
21 Gardening for good in Porto Porto Portugal
22 Social agriculture for young people Roccastrada Italy
23 Empowering rural women Kavar Turkey
24 Solidarity with evicted Roma families Cluj-Napoca Romania
25 Regional brand boosts rural development Nitra Slovakia
     
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