The Eurocities annual conference will bring European influencers to Espoo in June
Espoo has been chosen to organise the annual conference of the European city network Eurocities. 8-10/06/2022 Hundreds of European urban actors as well as a significant number of EU decision-makers and officials arrive in Espoo.
Important themes for the forward-looking Espoo Annual Conference are youth participation, co-development and urban leadership in the fight against climate change. The title of the conference is “An Era of New Beginnings, Dream – Act – Lead – Together”.
“It is important that we follow and take part in the European discussion on the future of the cities, share our know-how and learn from others”, says Mayor Jukka Mäkelä.
The most important European city network Eurocities supervises EU’s interests, produces information on EU funding applications and legislation as well as acts as a peer learning platform for its member cities.
“Organising the Eurocities annual conference in Espoo is an excellent opportunity to raise the profile of Espoo and Espoo’s know-how as well as to be an interesting partner for European cities. During this Espoo’s 50th anniversary, we will show our guests the best of Espoo in co-operation with the city’s key partners. Organising the annual meeting is also a boost for Espoo’s business community”, says Head of International Affairs Milla Ovaska.
he Future Mentors programme raises the voices of young people
As part of the Eurocities annual conference, Espoo is organising the Future Mentors programme, where young people from various European cities get to engage in dialogue with the decision-makers of their cities. In June, one young mentor from each city will get to travel to Espoo.
It is a case of reverse mentoring: a group of young people from each city communicates to decision-makers their own and their generation’s hopes, dreams and fears related to the future of their city.
Year 2022 is the official European Year of Youth(external link). Cities decision-making directly affects young people and their future both in the short- and long-term. Cities want young people to know that they are an integral part of their city’s future. This kind of dialogue can open up new perspectives for all parties involved.
Urban climate leadership is one of the key themes of the annual conference
Urban climate leadership is one of the key themes at the June Eurocities network meeting. Sustainable development has been promoted for a long time in Espoo.
At the end of April, the European Commission selected Espoo to carry out an EU mission on climate-neutral and smart cities together with other pioneers. The selected cities will act as centres of experimentation and innovation for solutions that will enable all European cities to achieve the same goals by 2050.
Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, will be one of the decision-makers and keynote speakers at the conference in Espoo. Timmermans is responsible for the Commission’s climate affairs and the European Green Deal Programme. The role of the cities in achieving the objectives of the EU’s Green Deal Programme is crucial and requires a strong dialogue between the Commission and the cities. At a meeting in February, Mayor Jukka Mäkelä discussed with Timmermans the way Espoo works as a developer of clean and intelligent urban solutions.
"The goal of Espoo is to increase the carbon footprint of the urban community, which means that new innovations developed in Espoo will help reduce emissions globally. Companies in Espoo develop and experiment with new solutions first at the local level and then export the best solutions globally. In this way, Espoo can be a more significant player than it is in size”, says Director of Strategy Pasi Laitala.
Milla Ovaska, Head of International Affairs, City of Espoo, tel. +358 43 824 4911, email@example.com