Budapest hosted the CEESEN Sustainable Municipalities Conference between 6-7 September 2023. The event was organized by WWF Hungary in tight cooperation with the CEESEU project’s consortium. The main goals of the conference were to strengthen the CEESEN network and foster green energy transition, climate adaptation, and municipal-level sustainability in the CEE region. 

With this conference, CEESEN (Central Eastern European Sustainable Energy Network) has demonstrated its ambition to be a key player in the green transition and also in the sustainability efforts at local level in the Central Eastern European region. The network’s importance lies not only in its role as a communication hub for local governments and NGOs in the region, but also in its role as an excellent platform for international cooperations, which facilitates resource and partnership building for EU and other regional tenders.

The hybrid event hosted more than 200 representatives from 20 countries. Besides professional network development, the participants also gained new and useful information about energy security, policies and financial aspects of SECAP development, energy poverty, and climate adaptation at the local level. During the breaks participants could check the SECAP exhibition which was created from the one pager summaries of the 22 SECAP documents created during the CEESEU project.

Photos of the conference

The first of the two days of the conference was the plenary day. The first opening speech was given by Hector Pagan (UTARTU) as the representative of the lead partner of the CEESEU project, introducing the CEESEN network and the potentials it offers. Eero Ailio (Policy Adviser of the European Commission) continued the opening remarks talking about the European policies for a green energy transition.

During the whole day, nearly 20 speakers presented their thoughts and ideas in four different sections; which were energy security, financing options, energy poverty and climate adaptation. Each section ended with a panel discussion involving all the speakers of the session moderated by Dr. Lilla Bartuszek.

The presentations and the panel discussions of the plenary day are available on the CEESEN – Sustainable Municipalities Youtube channel.

Videos and presentations

The second day the conference program continued with interactive workshops led by the consortium partners of the CEESEU and CEESEU-DIGIT projects, where our guests could learn about the implementation of the aforementioned topics of the first day’s sections.
The site visits also offered a wide range of activities inside and outside the city center of Budapest with urban walks and visiting water retention solutions.

The general takeaway of the conference was that despite the tangible challenges in the CEE region, municipalities have a great opportunity to reach their climate goals. 

To reach these common goals, the municipalities need to work together closely with all of the stakeholders, they have to share their experiences, support and learn from each other. This is what our CEESEN network aims to make easier for its members; creating a knowledge base, a voice for the region at the EU level and a platform for connecting together public administrators, policy makers and other key actors working for low-carbon economies in the CEE.

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