On 26th and 27th of April, the North Bulgarian city Gabrovo hosted a specialized conference organized by the Municipal Energy Efficiency Network EcoEnergy.

The conference was attended by representatives of various institutions, including the Ministry of Regional Development and the Ministry of Energy, the National Trust Ecofund, the European Energy Cities Network, the Austrian Energy Agency, representatives of universities and research centers, energy specialists, business representatives, professional associations and industrial chambers, NGOs and dozens of interested guests from the municipalities in Bulgaria.

The event, which is under the official calendar of the Bulgarian EU Presidency, focuses on the development of intelligent cities and communities – Energy efficiency as a tool for accelerated development of Bulgarian municipalities.  The main objectives set by the participants of the two-day meeting are: – To discuss the European instruments in support of integrated urban development and to show the Bulgarian experience in their usage.- Generate new ideas for creating partnerships and developing project proposals on different themes and sub-themes of the EU Horizon 2020 program.- To examine the possibilities and to encourage the Bulgarian municipalities to develop projects suitable for the financing of the replacement of the street lighting under Priority “Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Energy Security” of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area, etc.
The second day of the conference started with a presentation by Georgi Stefanov from WWF Bulgaria, who spoke about the European goals and policies of the “Clean Energy for All Europeans” Package and the Panel 2050 project, which is developing the CEESEN Network for Sustainable Energy in Central and Eastern Europe.

“The results and the various project manuals and guiding materials, both in Bulgaria and in Eastern Europe, enable local and regional authorities, together with the most active target groups, to start preparing their long-term visions and action plans for 2050, as of now. The aim is to turn these vision and plans into the main strategic documents accompanying long-term energy planning and the transition to a low-carbon economy in the hands of local authorities and all stakeholders in this process, which meets both European and global targets for low-carbon development, “said the representative of WWF’s Bulgarian office during his presentation.