Empowering the Local for Enhancing Cohesion and Spatial Justice in Europe

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Avenue d'Auderghem 22

22 Avenue d'Auderghem

1000 Bruxelles


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RELOCAL Policy Conference

About this Event

Is it possible to hold a conference on cohesion and territorial development policy without inviting local stakeholders representing populations and territories targeted by such policy? As researchers involved in the Horizon 2020 RELOCAL project, we are convinced they should participate and be given a voice.

Our aim with this conference is to share and discuss the results of 3 years of research, in particular 33 in-depth case studies in Europe. To do so, we invite you, citizens, NGO activists, civil servants, elected representatives acting at local, national and European levels, to express and share your experiences, questions and challenges on making European policies for cohesion more equitable. Our main question for this day is: how can we produce a Europe that is both spatially and socially just?

To do so, we strive during the conference to create a horizontal space of dialogue between those who analyse, those who conceive and those who implement local development policies in different contexts, regardless of whether they depend directly on EU funds or not. This conference is conducted in a participative and digital setting. The participants are invited to react to the discussions during the day using their mobile phones. These comments will support the elaboration of recommendations for a fairer Cohesion Policy.


8h30 / Registration

9h / Introduction and welcome

Petri Kahila & James Scott (University of Eastern Finland)

Moderators for the day: Cyril Blondel (University of Luxembourg) & Pascal Ferren (L’inverse de la fusée)

9h15-10h / The voices of EU-level and national policy-makers: the main challenges of EU Cohesion Policy today

Peter Takacs (DG Regio, Territorial and urban development policy)

Representative from a Member State (tbc)

Representative of the Committee of the Regions (tbc)

10h-10h15 / Coffee break

10h15-12h45 / The voices of the localities: Implementing local development, an insight into 5 RELOCAL case studies

1. “Strengthening communities” on the Isle of Lewis (UK)

Margaret Currie & Annabel Pinker (James Hutton Institute), Neil Mackinnon (Galston Estate Trust in Lewis)

3. “Local youth as urban development actors” in Görlitz (Germany)

Viktoria Kamuf (ILS Dortmund), Christian Thomas (Second Attempt) & Otto Kronschwitz (Second Attempt & Görlitz city council)

4. “Lieksa Development Strategy 2030” in Lieksa (Finland)

Matti Fritsch (University of Eastern Finland) and Irma Nykänen (Lieksa Tukipiste)

5. “Give kids a chance” in Encs district (Hungary)

Judit Keller (Centre for Economic and Regional Studies) and local representative (tbc)

6. Mara-Natur Leader in Maramures county (Romania)

George Zamfir (Fundația Desire, Cluj-Napoca) and and Florin Avram (Manager of Local Action Group)

12h45-14h / Lunch break

14h-15h/ Discussing the morning presentations: the local speaks to Europe and vice versa

Wrap-up of the morning & RELOCAL results: Sabine Weck (ILS Dortmund) & Estelle Evrard (University of Luxembourg)

Discussion: the facilitators will select some of the morning’s remarks and will invite their authors to explain/defend them publicly.

15h-16h/ Towards recommendations: how to make local development more just?

Wrap-up of the discussions & RELOCAL recommendations: Sarolta Németh (University of Eastern Finland) and Enikő Vincze (Fundația Desire, Cluj-Napoca)

Discussion: the facilitators will select some of the afternoon’s recommendations. The participants will be invited to present their recommendation (3 minutes maximum) to the audience.

16h-16h30 / A polyphonic conclusion: what have we learnt?

Ali Madanipour (University of Newcastle)

Representative from DG Regio (tbc)

Representative from AEIDL (tbc)

Gilles Huchette (Euralens)

Practical information

Participation to the entire day is highly recommended.

Simultaneous translation will be available in English / French / German / Hungarian / Romanian

The conference is free of charge.

This conference is organised in the context of the H2020 RELOCAL research project. RELOCAL receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under subsidy agreement no. 727097.

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22 Avenue d'Auderghem

1000 Bruxelles


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