To make the European Green Deal (EGD) a reality locally, we need the broad involvement of citizens and communities. The EU Commission recognizes this with its EU Climate Pact, an initiative which aims to reach out to citizens and help make the EGD a reality on the ground.
Community-led initiatives such as ecovillages, transition and permaculture networks already offer transformative and constructive solutions for a good life within planetary boundaries. To have a wider impact, they need funding and support structures. They also need to engage in participatory democracy, and cooperate with local authorities. This is where a proven EU method for bringing EU Policies to local levels, LEADER, together with its complementary method of community-led local development (CLLD), could be a game changer. New EU concepts such as Smart Villages which pushes for social innovation as a driver at local and village levels could also be of relevance when it comes to developing new transformational local and regional development policies.
The 3,000+ European Local Action Groups (LAGs) who are part of the EU method LEADER are currently preparing their local strategic plans, and are looking for ways to put the goals of the EU Green Deal centre-stage – with the help of an estimated budget for local-level initiatives of €10 billion for the next seven years. Community-led initiatives can give the LAGs the inspiration needed.
This Communities for Future (CfF) session will allow Local Action Groups (LAGs) and community-led initiatives to learn about EU policies and the Community-led local development (CLLD) method, and to be inspired by good examples of collaborations happening already on the ground, with a focus on the EU Green Week topics of biodiversity, but also energy as relevant parts of the EU Green Deal. An interactive space will allow direct networking and take the first steps in finding out what is needed for a strong cooperation and for scaling up constructive sustainable community-led initiatives.
We will also present a new initiative for a Community of Practice (CoP) – a space for mutual learning and exchange on how to strengthen fruitful cooperations between local authorities, Local Action Groups and community-led initiatives. This Community of Practice is driven by ECOLISE (the European network for community-led initiatives on climate change and sustainability) together with ELARD (The European LEADER Association for rural development with a network of over 2,000 European LAGs), in partnership with others.
The event is organised by ECOLISE in partnership with ELARD, with the support of the EU Climate Pact and the ClimACT project.
- Theory: Presentation of the EU Green Deal with a focus on the EU Climate Pact, as well as of policies and methods such as community-led local development (CLLD) & smart villages (SV)
- Good Practice examples: Presentation of good practice examples of community-led initiatives and Local Action Groups (LAGs), who are already active in public-society partnerships on environmental action
- Announcement: Presentation of a new community of practice (COP) on community-led-local development (CLLD), a cooperation between ECOLISE, ELARD and other partners
- Interactive session: for exchanges and direct networking
- Forum: Bringing the results to the forum and offering concrete ways to connect with the community of practice on community-led local development in line with the European Green Deal: Call for demonstrators = successful cooperations between Local Action Groups (LAGs) and community-led initiatives in selected policy areas of the European Green Deal (especially biodiversity and energy).
Marion Eckardt, president of ELARD (The European LEADER Association for rural development)
Eamon O’Hara, co-founder of ECOLISE (the European network for community-led initiatives on climate change and sustainability)
Juan del Rio, co-director of ECOLISE
Hartmut Berndt, vice-president of ELARD, LEADER-manager of the LAG Göttinger Land, head of the department for sustainable regional development in the district of Göttingen, chairman of the German LEADER Association