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

 ICLEI European  Convention 

12-14 September 2011 
Brussels, Belgium 


14 September 2011 - ICLEI members call for support and recognition in moving toward more sustainable Europe

Gino Van BeginCities and towns across Europe have united to release the ICLEI European Convention Declaration, responding to the Europe 2020 Strategy and calling for greater support and recognition of their contribution to creating an economically smart, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable Europe.

The host of the ICLEI European Convention, Evelyne Huytebroeck, Minister for the Environment, Energy, Urban Regeneration, Brussels-Capital Region handed over the Declaration to Joanna Mackowiak-Pandera, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of the Environment, Poland, Presidency of the EU and Michel Delebarre, Chair, Commission for Territorial Cohesion, Committee of the Regions.

Alexandra van Huffelen, Deputy Mayor of Rotterdam, host of the Mayors Session said, “the EU should put more emphasis on the local dimension in its visions and plans. I call for more stringent policies in limiting emission levels at source. If these limits are not met, financial support for specific measures at city level must be made available to cope with the consequences."

To view the declaration, click here.

13 September 2011 - Gross happiness index strikes a chord on opening day of Convention

Evelyne Hytebroeck speaks to press on the opening day“Happiness is a serious subject” according to H.E. Sonam Tobden Rabgye, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bhutan to Belgium and the European Union. Mr Tobden Rabgye explained the four pillars of Bhutan’s gross national happiness index (GNH), a theme that was picked up on by several other speakers on the first day of the Convention.

European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik said he believes“we need to look beyond GDP as a yardstick for measuring development” and that it is important to acknowledge the many aspects that combine to determine a person’s of life. The Commissioner said we cannot find a way out of this crisis by running directly into another and that business as usual is “not an option”.

The role of cities in implementing the Europe 2020 Strategy was the underlying theme of the day with Evelyne Huytebroeck, Minister for the Environment, Energy, Urban Regeneration, for the Brussels-Capital Region saying that cities have the tools and instruments to make a sustainable difference. The event continues today with the high-profile Mayors Session, where a political declaration will be finalised and presented to the representatives of the European institutions tomorrow.

For more information, click here.

12 September 2011 - Participants ready to enhance sustainability now as ICLEI European Convention opens

European Commissioner Janez Potocnik © European CommissionAlmost 300 participants from across Europe have arrived in Brussels for the opening day of the ICLEI European Convention. This afternoon, Brussels’ Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR), a prominent and unique building in the heart of the city, will host the highly anticipated opening plenary and kick-start the three-day event.

Participants will have the opportunity to address many high-level speakers such as European Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik, and discuss what they think is needed to ensure local authorities are equipped with the tools needed to implement the Europe 2020 Strategy at local level.

The Convention promises to be interactive and informative, addressing issues that are likely to impact this and future generations. Hamburg’s Train of Ideas is welcoming visitors on board to explore its exhibition on exemplary urban sustainability projects from cities all over Europe. The Brussels Sustainable City exhibition provides a further opportunity to experience the convention’s themes in action.

For more information, click here.

9 September 2011 - ICLEI European Convention almost here

European cities and EU member states and institutions are just days away from getting an answer as to how they can effectively cooperate in tackling Europe’s current crises when the ICLEI European Convention kicks off on 12 September.

The Convention will provide an insight into what is needed for a targeted implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy, and offers more than 20 plenary and parallel sessions and includes over 80 speakers, focusing on the transition needed to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive cities. Several high-profile speakers will address what commitments will need to be accomplished at the local level to implement the Strategy.

European Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik will discuss whether the policy objectives of the EU and its Member States are sufficiently sustainable to guarantee a secure foundation for this and future generations,  with a panel including Mercedes Bresso, President of the Committee of the Regions and Keith Whitmore, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.

For more information, click here.