Municipalize Europe! Transformative municipalities, the corona crisis recovery and the European Green Deal

05 November 2020
Event

Municipalize Europe! is a unique opportunity to learn about the efforts of transformative cities during the COVID-19 crisis and the solutions that they are putting on the agenda for the social and economic recovery. This one day online event on 5 November is split into four sessions, please register below for each session you wish to attend. There will be simultaneous translation available in English, French and Spanish.

Date
05 November 2020
Time
09:30 - 19:30 (CET)
Location
Online event, the Central European Time (CET)
Organizer(s)
  • Barcelona En Comú
  • Catalunya En Comú
  • Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO)
  • Greens/EFA
  • Transnational Institute (TNI)

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, municipalities across Europe have played a crucial role in responding to the public health emergency and the threat of economic collapse. In many cases, municipalities have stepped in where global corporate supply chains have collapsed and national governments have failed. Even before the corona crisis, many cities had turned their backs on dominant neoliberal policies and introduced bold and innovative progressive policies addressing,among many other pressing issues, affordable housing, energy democracy, and public transportation. Front-runner cities like these are fundamentally important in the battle to avoid catastrophic climate change and runaway inequality.

Municipalize Europe! will be an opportunity to learn about the efforts of transformative cities during the COVID-19 crisis and the solutions that they are putting on the agenda for the social and economic recovery. The conference will feature sessions on how cities are fighting the covid-19 crisis, the housing crisis and the climate crisis, and explore what the European Union (EU), especially the EU institutions, should do to support these efforts and how to enforce the collaboration between EU and municipalist cities.

Session 1

09:30 - 11:00 (CET) A short introduction to municipalism and the municipalist networks

A brief introduction to the global municipalist movement, its goals (radicalising democracy, feminising policies and standing up to the far right) and its main current practices and platforms, with a special focus on those based at the European Union. This session will include time for questions and answers and presentations from the participating platforms as well as other municipalist networks and initiatives.

Session 2

11:30 - 13:00 (CET) Opening panel: the role of municipalist cities after the COVID-19 crisis, and the need for EU funding for cities

 

 

The coronavirus pandemic has opened new opportunities for European urban centres to have greater access to, and be involved more in, the spending of EU funds. The mayors underlined the importance of prospective direct funding to cities and urban areas and urged the EU institutions to facilitate better access of cities to EU funding in the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework and the European Recovery plan.

This panel will focus on examining what transformative policies and solutions these municipalist cities have explored before and after COVID-19, and what the EU can do to put regulatory and financial mechanisms in place that provide the necessary means for local authorities to act for broad social and economic recovery.

With the participation of: Eric Piolle, Mayor of Grenoble, Janet Sanz, Deputy Mayor of Barcelona, Rutger Groot Wassink, Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam, Tessza Udvarhelyi, Head of the Office for Community Participation in the 8th district of Budapest, Ernest Urtasun, MEP, Greens/EFA, Catalunya, Spain and Maria Eugenia Rodriguez Palop, MEP, GUE/NLG, Spain
Moderation: Eva Garcia Chueca, Senior Researcher, specialized in cities.

Read an article about the session here.

Session 3

16:00 - 17:30 (CET) Housing crisis: cities and struggle for affordable housing for all

 

 

Since the outbreak of Covid, ‘staying at home’ has become the main strategy to minimize the spread of the pandemic. With that, affordable housing with adequate living conditions has become a matter of life and death, which demonstrates why it is essential to prioritize the right to housing. This panel will focus on what cities have done to secure adequate living conditions before and after COVID-19, and what the EU should do to help cities achieve a breakthrough in terms of affordable housing.

With the participation of: Kim van Sparrentak, Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (rapporter in EP of Affordable housing in the EU), Leilani Farha (Former UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing), Lucia Martín, counselor in Barcelona City Hall and previous housing activist and Michaela Kauer, director of the Brussels Liaison Office of the City of Vienna (“Vienna House”). Moderation: Kenneth Haar, Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO).

Read an article about the session here.

Session 4

18:00 - 19:30 (CET) Making the European Green Deal work for cities

 

 

Some of the most impressive concrete efforts to speed up the phase-out of fossil fuel use in Europe can be found in cities - and the corona crisis has further accelerated this development. Cities can make a massive contribution to achieving a climate neutral Europe and an environmentally sustainable economic recovery. This panel will zoom in on what municipalist cities can contribute and their vision for what the EU should do to help unleash the potential of cities towards a successful European Green Deal.

With the participation of: David Dessers, Vice-Mayor of Leuven, Belgium, Anne Sophie Olmos, Municipal Councilor in charge of Commons and Public Procurement, Grenoble, France, Joan Herrera, Director of the Environment and Energy at the city council of Prat de Llobregat (Catalunya), Blanca Bayas Fernández, Observatori del Deute en la Globalització, Spain, and Anna Cavazzini, MEP, Greens/EFA, Germany. Moderator: Hans van Scharen, Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO)

Read an article about the session here.