On the 20 September 2018 in Brussels the meeting ‘Civil society and municipalities: building sustainability through collaboration’ took place. Welcoming remarks were introduced by Peter Schmidt, President of the Sustainable Development Observatory, EESC member.

Meeting included 4 breakout sessions running in parallel dedicated to creating impactful collaboration between citizens and municipalities: (1) Taking a systemic approach to collaboration; (2) Resourcing collaboration in a strategic and sustainable way; (3) Sharing power and nurturing real collaboration; and (4) Exploring the role of the EU to support collaboration.

There also was a panel discussion ‘Collaboration between Communities and Municipalities; Challenges and Possibilities’ with Andrew Cooper from European Committee of the Regions and Philippe Lamberts, Member of the European Parliament.

One of the main topics discussed at the meeting was the financial sustainability of the community-led initiatives. It was noted that the EU cohesion policy serves as an important mechanism to foster the financial support of EU to the local initiative in a systematic way. The issue of structural funds was discussed by representatives of DG CLIMA and DG REGIO mentioning that the local initiatives and urban sustainability projects will be stressed in the upcoming cohesion Policy funds

CEESEN was repsented by UTARTU at the conference and being involved in the panel discussions and focus groups. CEESEN member stressed the importance of tailoring the specific methodologies for different parts of the Europe for enforcing the sustainable development and energy transition on local level. CEESEN was invited to proactively bring local experience and input in the development of Roadmap 2050 upcoming packages.