“Reinventing Europe through local initiative”
photo credit AEIDL
More than 150 people – actors from the ‘field’, MEPs, academics, representatives of organizations and networks, and even ordinary citizens – participated in the conference “Reinventing Europe through local initiative” held in Brussels on 19-20 February 2014, the European Association for Information on Local Development (AEIDL) on the occasion of its 25th anniversary. Presentations, discussions and networking around 25 “promising initiatives for the future” have shown that local initiatives, citizens in participatory and sustainable development were needed more than ever. LINK
During the first day, at the European Parliament, Márta Márczis and Yves Champetier from AEIDL recalled the values and ideas promoted by the association.
These are summarized in a joint contribution produced for the occasion: “Our belief is that the local approach, citizen involvement, innovation and social experimentation, identification and compliance with common goods, solidarity between territories and elsewhere, the invention of new forms of multi-level governance and a multi-stakeholder approach can contribute to the renewal of Europe we like: the rich diversity of its landscapes, its peoples, cultures, open to the world, striving for a new economic and social balance.”
The next day, 6 parallel workshops were held, and included 25 local initiatives covering present and future aspects of local development: cohesion and inclusion, social economy, regional development and local circuits, quality of life, energy transition and climate change, etc. (see Promising initiatives).
“A quiet ‘revolution’ has been running for 25 years and this revolution needs networks” , said Michael Dower, rapporteur of the conference. “ARC2020, other networks and those, like the animated ECOLISE or FARNET. AEIDL fits perfectly into this philosophy.”
This conference organised and financed by AEIDL was a great success, both in the quality of interventions and exchanges that has aroused intense networking as it has facilitated between participants who often met for the first time.
(This article is a loose translation of an article which originally appeared in French on the AEIDL website. Many LDnet members were present.)