The climate crisis and the rising of social inequalities pose serious challenges to Europeʼs future. A just transition towards a more sustainable Europe that leaves no people and no places behind is urgent and necessary.
Progressive cities (and young progressive leaders especially) have become new drivers of change, striving to find innovative solutions and concrete policies to fight the climate crisis.
Nonetheless, more still needs to be done. The European elections showed us how important the environmental and social issues are for citizens today. A comprehensive and inclusive plan at European level, a Green New Deal for Europe, is needed in order to involve all levels of government to make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality.
Together with the Young European Socialists (YES) and the Party of European Socialists, the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions organised the first of its “Progressive Labs”, an initiative destined to bring together local and regional progressive authorities, civil society organisations and citizens. This would allow the fostering of best practices exchanges, the connection with a new generation of progressive leaders and the putting forward of new ideas to build a more sustainable Europe from the ground up. Sanchia Alasia, Member of the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions, Councillor for Barking & Dagenham (United Kingdom), Brando Benifei, Member of the European Parliament (Italy), Jo Leinen, former Member of the European Parliament and of the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions (Germany), Sara Tavares da Costa, Vice-President of the Young European Socialists (Austria), and Kata Tüttő, Member of the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions, Councillor from Budapest (Hungary), shared their experiences at local level and innovative ideas to tackle the climate crisis. Sanchia Alasia moderated.
The Progressive Lab was followed by a workshop organised by the Party of European Socialists on Thursday 1 August from 10:00 to 11:30, entitled “Just transition: from European ambition to local change”. Drawing from the conclusions of the Lab, the workshop aimed at developing a “Call to action” to discuss local challenges, develop new solutions and measures to achieve those solutions. Speakers included Evin Icir, Member of the European Parliament from Sweden, and Kata Tüttő, member of the PES Group and local councillor from Budapest. The moderator was Julian Muhs, Party of European Socialists Adviser.
These events took place at the Young European Socialists Summer Camp, in Bulgaria.
Photo credit: Unsplash / Markus Spiske