Local authorities from CEI member states meet in Sofia to discuss the challenges of the green transition, clean energy solutions and energy independence

06.06.2022

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The first Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the member states of the Central European Initiative will be held on 8 June 2022 in Sofia.

The congress entitled "CEI Local and regional authorities in post-crisis Europe: prospects for a more sustainable and resilient future" aims to divert the attention of local authorities from the immediate crises management in the health, social, economic and humanitarian spheres, to the long-term priorities in the fight against climate change and the transition to clean energy.

Among the participants are representatives of the associations of local and regional authorities from the member countries of the initiative, representatives of NAMRB partner organizations - Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Council of European Municipalities and Regions, Network of Associations of Countries from Southeast Europe and other guests, mayors and representatives of Bulgarian municipalities.

In the opening part the participants will be greeted by the Chairman of NAMRB Management Board - Eng. Daniel Panov, the Secretary General of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Andreas Kiefer, Special Adviser to the CEI Secretary General Zoran Jovanovic and the National CEI Coordinator for Bulgaria, Stanislav Todorov.

In the first session, Deputy Minister Nikolay Sidzhimov will present the main highlights of the European and national context in terms of environmental transition and climate neutrality, which will set the main thematic line of the discussion.

Bernd Vöhringer, Mayor of Sindelfingen and President of the Chamber of Local Authorities in the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, will speak about the practical experience of local authorities in Germany and the importance of multilevel governance and democracy.

Participants will also hear about how local authorities can support local stakeholders in the decision-making process for investing in photovoltaic installations by creating a set of digital and administrative tools. The Solar Cities project will be presented by Ivaylo Trendafilov from the Municipality of Burgas.

In the second session, after the presentation of the main highlights of the CEI Green Growth Plan by Zoran Jovanovic, participants will hear about the practical experience of local authorities in Montenegro and Serbia. Miljan Barovic, Head of the Secretariat for Urban Planning and Sustainable Development, will present the main highlights of the work of the capital city of Podgorica in the process of ecological transition and the transition to clean energy. The picture will be complemented by the intervention of Miodrag Gluscevic, who will speak about the role of the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities in Serbia in the process of green transition and about the specific examples from the municipalities of Priboj and Cajetina.

The event is organized by the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria on the occasion of the Bulgarian presidency of the Central European Initiative, with the financial support of CEI Cooperation Fund.