European Week of Regions and Cities 2023

For the 21st European Week of Regions and Cities, the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive was delighted to host a panel discussion ‘Empowering Change: How local and regional authorities drive behavioural change in the energy sector’.

The Office collaborated with partners from regions across Europe, with contributions from Botoșani (Romania), Pomorskie (Poland), Košice (Slovakia), Umbria (Italy), Abruzzo(Italy), Vojvodina (Serbia) and Wielkopolska (Poland). The event included a panel discussion and video presentations from participating regions, with regional policy makers, academics and political representatives exchanging top strategies to overcome decarbonisation challenges in the energy sector.

Discussions centred around tactics for private-local partnerships, communication strategies on innovation and H2 valleys, cross-border collaboration and fostering energy communities. Northern Ireland’s contribution was provided by Rachel Burns, manager for the centre of Business Development at Belfast Metropolitan College. Rachel gave valuable insights into the work of the GENCOMM project, which aids communities in transitioning to hydrogen-based energy models as to sustainably supply electricity, heating, and transportation fuels. The GENCOMM project already encompasses over 190 organisations, and speakers from our partner regions were able to engage with Rachel to discuss potential opportunities for collaboration.

The presentations were followed by a Q&A session with the panel, where guests were given the opportunity to ask questions about each of the innovative initiatives presented by the speakers. Over 70 guests attended and were invited to a networking reception following the event, bringing our annual European Week of Regions and Cities event to a close for another year.

The Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels would like to thank all our partner regions in helping to organise and deliver this insightful event. We would also like to thank all the guests who attended and for their questions and engagement throughout the workshop.

We are already looking forward to hosting another event for next years #EURegionsWeek!