Vision

WWF

WWF

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.

Stara Zagora Regional Economic Development Agency

Stara Zagora Regional Economic Development Agency

Stara Zagora is known abroad as the home of Mini Maritsa East Energy Complex includes one of the most modern, one state-own and less effective, and on of most polluted TPPs.  In Bulgaria the region is known as the “Energy Heart” of the country, one of the most developed from the GDP and salaries level point of view. The Energy Complex was the main driver of the regional prosperity. At least till these days.

The main question is if the Green Deal and Fit 55 goals and requirements mean the END of the prosperity? This is among the most heard apocalyptic narrative in the region. It could be expected given the mindest is strongly influenced by the experience of the past: several failed reforms in other economic sectors in the country; the post-socialist transition as a whole; the stable foundation for prosperity given till the moment by the Energy Complex.

But the transformed Mini Maritsa East Energy Complex to continue to be a leading driver of the regional economy is a Mission Possible. More – on the Forum!

 

Website
www.szeda.eu
Black Sea Energy Research Centre

Black Sea Energy Research Centre

The Smart Strategies for Transition of Coal-Intensive Regions could facilitate the transition of these regions to a carbon-neutral economy and energy by assisting stakeholders in the development of regional strategies and roadmaps/ smart specialization cards. Successfully achieving this goal requires dialogue between national and local authorities, trade unions, the energy sector, local entrepreneurs, financial institutions and public organizations. We expect the Forum, by presenting and discussing the possibilities for the District of Stara Zagora, to take another step towards the formation of a shared vision for the transition of the region in terms of economy, energy, social aspects, education and research. We also expect the event, demonstrating the urgency and seriousness of the forthcoming changes, to engage all stakeholders more actively in the transition.

Website
www.bserc.eu
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