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The Four Motors for Europe celebrate an event to reaffirm their commitment to the 2030 Agenda and their full support to the European Green Deal

In the framework of the Catalan rotating presidency, the Four Motors for Europe, together with the collaboration of CIDOB, organized an online working session with think tanks and institutional participation from the four regions that took place last December 4th, 2020. The aim of the session was to address global challenges and regional cooperation, as well as to debate the role of regions in the development of the 2030 Agenda and the implementation of the European Green Deal, both from the academic as well as from the institutional point of view.

Institutional representatives of the Four Motors for Europe

Institutional representatives of the Four Motors for Europe

On the institutional level, the Four Motors for Europe were represented by Alan Christian Rizzi, Undersecretary to the Presidency (Lombardy), Vice-president in charge of Higher Education, Research, Innovation and European Funds (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes), Theresa Schopper, State Minister responsible for Policy Coordination (Baden-Württemberg), and Bernat Solé, Ministry for Foreign Action, Institutional Relations and Transparency (Catalonia).

The political representatives of the Four Motors for Europe agreed that our regions have a lot to contribute to the European project, specifically in relation to the global challenges due to our proximity with the citizens. Thus, the session resulted in a joint article signed by Minister Bernat Solé in the representation of the Four Motors for Europe.

The core of the session were two panels with the objective to bring together the academic world and the world of practitioners. The academic panel, moderated by Héctor Sánchez from CIDOB, addressed the question on how to improve the participation of regions in the face of current global challenges, and counted with the participation of experts from CIDOB (Hannah Abdullah), CIRIDD (Denis Cocconcelli), PoliS- Lombardia (Armando De Crinito), and University of Hohenheim (Andreas Pyka).

In the institutional panel, moderated by Arnau Queralt, director of the Advisory Council for the Sustainable Development of Catalonia, the representatives of the Four Motors for Europe’s Environment Working Group discussed the role of the regions in achieving the European Green Deal and the 2030 Agenda. This panel was attended by Cécile Bernard, Head of Programming and Studies Service (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes), Sibylle Hepting-Hug, Director of Policy, Sustainability, Climate Protection, Resource Efficiency, Circular Economy (Baden-Württemberg), Mario Nova, Director General for Environment and Climate (Lombardy) and Mercè Rius Serra, Director General for Environmental Quality and Climate Change.

In his closing remarks, Pol Morillas, director of CIDOB, welcomed the open exchanges between the world of ideas and public policies offered by this event. This is particularly relevant in the case of crosscutting issues such as the 2030 Agenda, where such exchange of initiatives, suggestions and policies of all the actors is vital for an adequate progress. He also emphasized that the recently approved recovery plan for the EU should reflect the principle of subsidiarity, which in practice means that the regions and cities should play a central role in its implementation.

The official programme can be consulted here; the session was translated simultaneously to the official languages of the Four Motors for Europe, you can see it again in either of the four languages: Catalan, French, German and Italian.