The Forum of Mayors initiative started in 2018 with the 1st Forum being held in Kozani, Greece as a way to bring together mayors and leading local politicians from different countries, to share knowledge, views and best practices on Just Transition and ways to move forward together.
Four years later this cooperation between the mayors is even more relevant after the Covid-19 crisis, the new Recovery plans and the approaching Just Transition Mechanism implementation.
Networking between mayors
Mayors face similar challenges on the way to the coal phase-out but do not communicate with each other nor are there formats for them to meet and exchange regularly at the European level. Considering the considerable language barriers (a real small minority of them speak English), there is a need for institutionalised dialogue formats for them to speak to each other.
Learning from the lessons in other European coal regions and overcoming regional
differences on the coal phase-out.
Although many studies were published in recent years on how some coal regions managed the transformation in the past, there is no manual available at the level of municipal policy-makers and an exchange of experience can be really fruitful. Here again there is a need for institutionalised formats because mayors from small- to middle-sized cities are not used to speak to international audience and are very busy overcoming challenges - it often seems they do not see how valuable their experience can be to others.
The direct exchange of best practices and experiences between mayors of coal mining regions in Europe is an invaluable tool towards advancing the sustainable shift of those regions towards sustainable economic activities.