Why is Charleroi a progressive city?
Charleroi is a very progressive city and all the more so as it recently celebrated the International Women’s Rights Day on 8 March and gives numerous subsidies to non-profit organisations that defend women's rights. The way we deal with our young people also shows what a progressive city we are. We have many youth centres and the EU really helps us in this area. Charleroi is close to its young people and it is through this relationship that it is a progressive city.
How are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implemented in your city?
We have been giving particular attention to waste management for a number of years now. We have a very efficient inter-municipal association that works with Charleroi and its periphery and that focuses on waste sorting. Nowadays, most citizens sort their waste. In Charleroi, this comes to 66 % of people, which results in a clear reduction of bag purchasing. This is a proof of how sustainable we are. We have also put other actions into place. For example, we try to make sure that one out of four purchased vehicles in Charleroi is electric. We have also launched a more ludic initiative. Every citizen has the right to receive chickens from the local administration. This helps them reduce their amount of waste by composting.
How does Europe help Charleroi to be a more sustainable city?
Europe has helped us with its different funds. Charleroi is a city that is very close to Europe. For example, the insulation of its municipal buildings and of its public housing has been financed by the EU. This is a big step forward towards energy economy and sustainability in Charleroi.
Hicham Imane has been member of the Charleroi City Council since 2012 and member of the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions since 2015. He belongs to the Belgian Socialist Party.