ICLEI European Convention 2011 - Cities in Europe 2020 - Enhance sustainability now

 ICLEI European  Convention 

12-14 September 2011 
Brussels, Belgium 

About the ICLEI European Convention Series

The ICLEI European Convention is a series of conferences that started in 1998 in the city of Götenborg, Sweden. The main goal of these events is to provide a platform to ICLEI members to network, discuss and address key topics with representatives of other leading cities and European institutions.

Past conferences include:

  • Zaragoza, Spain 2008 "More than hot air: Action on Climate Change",
  • Tilburg, The Netherlands 2005 "Mainstreaming Sustainability in the face of Change",
  • Oslo, Norway 2002 "EuropeanCities21",
  • Göteborg, Sweden 1998 "Local Agenda 21: Cities prepare for the 21st Century".


The Convention engaged participants in a captivating discussion of the immediate and future challenges facing European cities in their quest to create sustainable societies.

The Convention was about tackling the most crucial sustainability questions facing societies. European cities and representatives of European institutions united to address questions such as:

  • Are the Europe 2020 Strategy and the overall policy objectives for the EU and its Member States sufficiently sustainable to guarantee a secure foundation for this and future generations?

  • What does the Europe 2020 Strategy mean for local governments?

  • Should Europe change its focus from "growth" to enhancing sustainability, or are these concepts compatible?

  • Are sustainable growth and green economy, as set in the EU2020 Strategy, a sufficient political response?

  • How can more concrete sustainable action and the appropriate political response from local governments overcome today's crises?

  • How can we push forward the Dunkerque Local Sustainability Declaration and the Dunkerque Call on Climate Action, outcomes of the 6th European Sustainable Cities and Town Conference in Dunkerque in 2010?

A new and exciting ICLEI Convention

Local governments were both participants and co-partners. For the first time, we simultaneously involved various ICLEI members and partners to actively contribute to the realisation of the event. The outcome of this collaboration was a conference deeply rooted in the city of Brussels: the parallel sessions on 13 September took place in various ICLEI member offices in Brussels, allowing participants to gain a first-hand experience of the local context throughout the conference.

Participants got to engage with high profile speakers from different international institutions, including Evelyne Huytebroeck - Minister for the Environment Brussels-Capital Region; Mercedes Bresso, President of the Committee of the Regions, Member of the Piedmont Regional Council; and Janez Potočnik - Commissioner for the Environment European Commission, as well as network with others dedicated to enhancing sustainability.

An outstanding combination of events took place in Brussels during the conference, including the Hamburg Green Capital 2011’s Train of Ideas and the exhibition, Brussels, Sustainable City. A wide variety of social and cultural events were also offered during the Convention days.