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Community-led initiatives and the European Green Deal: towards transformational local development policies

November 28 @ 2:30 pm - 5:30 pm CET

On 28 November 2022, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), in collaboration with ECOLISE will host ECOLISE’s main policy stakeholder event, Community-led initiatives and the European Green Deal: towards transformational local development policies, to hold conversations about the role of communities and EU policies on the path to transformational systemic change.

Click here to register to join the conversations

This event will trigger conversations about 10 theses on what truly transformational local development policies could look like, and how community-led environmental and climate actions can be strengthened through the European Green Deal, with a focus on different initiatives such as the Rural Pact and European Climate Pact as well as existing methods and frameworks such as LEADER/ Community-led local development (CLLD).

We will present the results of a policy consultation process facilitated by the ECOLISE network together with its core partners, which started with a kick-off session on 28 September and will be the starting point of a wider advocacy campaign in 2023.

The objective of the event is to:

–       Present the outcomes of the policy positioning process of community-led initiatives towards the European Green Deal;

–   Enable widespread community-led response to the climate and ecological crisis through transformational regional and local development policies;

–   Empower the role of local communities and policies for transformational systemic change;

–   Facilitate conversations to better understand the potential and needs of community-led initiatives as change agents.


Since June 2022, ECOLISE, together with various partners, has embarked on a policy positions process of community-led initiatives towards the European Green Deal. This initiative is built around the central question, “the European Green Deal: What’s in it for community-led initiatives?” and invites various stakeholders to take part in the policy consultation process to provide a better understanding of the potential and needs of community-led initiatives as change agents, showcasing pathways towards a regenerative society.

Community-led initiative’s reinforcing and inspirational role in our collective response to the climate and ecological crisis are featured in Communities for Future, an integrated Europe-wide program launched in 2020 together with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), RIPESS, and RURENER, and in the presence and endorsement of EU Commissioners, MEPs, and ECOLISE members. Communities for Future shows how local communities and networks across Europe showcase can provide concrete steps and solutions towards transformative change including energy communities, community-supported agriculture, and locally-led climate change mitigation and adaptation.

As the European Green Deal remains the key policy tool for the transition to a well-being economy within the planet’s limits, it is high time to initiate a convergence of communities to policymakers and enable much-needed collective action from the community.


14:30 Welcome and introduction by ECOLISE and EESC

  • ECOLISE Co-president, Mieke Elzenga (LiberTerra)
  • EESC NAT section President, Peter Schmidt

14:40 How to activate the potential of social change and community-led local ecological action within the European Green Deal

Moderation: Peter Schmidt, EESC

The political view from the perspective of the European Green Deal

  • EVP Frans Timmermans (tbc)

The scientific view on transformative social innovation and the role of community-led initiatives in sustainability action

  • Giorgia Silvestri, researcher DRIFT

14:50 Presentation of ECOLISE’s policy positioning process of community-led initiatives towards the European Green Deal: 10 theses towards transformational community-led local development policies

Moderation: Peter Schmidt, EESC

  • Nina Klein and Amelie Krug, Policy Team, ECOLISE
  • Tom Henfrey, researcher & writer, co-founder ECOLISE

15:00 Delving deeper: Focus on 3 selected theses of the overall 10 theses, presentation of good practice examples

Moderation: Nina Klein, ECOLISE

  1. Ecodorp Boekel, project ‘Sustainable housing and biodiversity’: Ad Vlems, Ecodorp Boekel (NL)
  2. Public sector support for community-led initiatives, project ‘Boost Eco-Citoyen’: David Delsart, Transition Town France representative at the CTC (Collectif pour la Transition Citoyenne), ADEME (FR)
  3. Community Climate Coaches project & Communities 4 Climate Action: Davie Philip, Cultivate – The Sustainable Ireland Cooperative
  4. The bioregional approach: Isabel Carlisle, Bioregional Learning Center (UK)

15:30 Discussion round with policy actors on the local implementation of the European Green Deal and the role of community-led initiatives

Moderation: Nina Klein, ECOLISE

  • Laurence Graff, DG CLIMA, European Commission
  • MEP Benoît Biteau, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament (tbc)
  • Representative from the Czech Council Presidency (tbc)
  • Hanna Zdanowska, Mayor of Lódz, European Committee of the Regions
  • Lidija Pavić-Rogošić, EESC member

16:00 Interactive sessions in small break-out rooms (ZOOM, EN only)

Discussion of the grouped theses in each break-out room:

– SOCIETY: Citizen-led social innovations as catalysts for mitigating and adapting to the planetary crisis

– POLITICS: Participative democracy and multi-level governance as vehicle towards transformative policies and funds

– ECOLOGY: A good life within the planetary boundaries – Rethinking human-nature relationships

– ECONOMY: Moving towards a just economic system providing well-being for all

17:00 Recommendations from the break-out rooms on the role of community-led initiatives and EU policies towards transformative systemic change

Moderation: Josep Puxeu Rocamora, EESC

  • By ECOLISE partners and EESC members

17:20 | Wrap-up and outlook

  • Conversation between ECOLISE, Co-president Mieke Elzenga, and EESC member, Josep Puxeu Rocamora on the way forward

17:30 | Closing

Language regime: EN/FR/ES


November 28
2:30 pm - 5:30 pm CET
Event Categories:


online zoom
Brussels, Belgium


View Organizer Website

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