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EU now has 9,000+ “energy communities”: smart, decentralised, flexible generation and consumption

The goal of the EU’s “Clean Energy for all Europeans package” (CEP), adopted in 2019, is to improve the functioning and design of Europe’s energy markets and systems. Luca Arfini, writing for ESCI, explains how, as part of the CEP, new market actors called “active customers/consumers and citizens” and “energy communities” are being established. As variable renewable generation grows, the whole system needs to be more decentralised, smarter and flexible, and energy communities are part of the sol

After CoFoE – What's Next for Digital Democracy in the EU?

It all began four years ago, in March 2019, when French President Emmanuel Macron launched the ambitious idea to chart a transformative course for the European Union’s future with the establishment of a “Conference for Europe”. The plan was to gather feedback from a wide range of stakeholders, including EU citizens and civil society representatives, on the EU’s way of working and, perhaps, to lay the groundwork for a revision to EU treaties.

Fast forward to 2020, Macron’s proposal was backed by

NOMAD: An EU Project for Sustainable Agriculture Development

Synthetic fertilisers nowadays help grow enough food to feed about half of the world’s population – despite their well-known detrimental impact on the environment. NOMAD, an EU-funded research project, aims to ensure a sustainable agriculture future through biofertilisers and a circular economy approach.

Considering eight billion people live on this planet today, with a projected growth of over 9 billion by 2050, it is easy to understand why modern synthetic fertilisers are essential for suppor

Celebrating The International Day of Women and Girls in Science: Breaking Gender Stereotypes!

Today marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, a day to celebrate the invaluable contributions that women have made and continue to make to the scientific community. From Ada Lovelace, which is considered the first computer programmer much before computers were even invented, to Mae Carol Jemison, who reached her dream of travelling in space as the first African American woman to do so, women have been instrumental in shaping the course of scientific developments.

Interview with Mayor of Guldborgsund Municipality

When you face pressing global challenges, it is almost a natural step to join forces with your neighbours to find a common solution to meeting the needs of citizens across the whole Baltic Sea region. Simon Hansen, Mayor of the Danish Guldborgsund Municipality, describes how taking part in transnational projects funded by Interreg Baltic Sea Region helped his city to make urban mobility greener and to advance urban social innovation ultimately improving the lives of its residents.

Interview with Deputy Mayor of Tartu

Joining the Interreg community isn’t just about receiving funding to transform your smart idea into reality, but also building long-term connections with key partners from all over our region. Raimond Tamm, Deputy Mayor of the Estonian city of Tartu, will present to us what his city achieved by taking part in transnational projects funded by Interreg Baltic Sea Region. Enjoy this journey in the Interreg world.

Low-carbon mobility solutions to green our future

In line with the EU’s climate neutrality target, Interreg Baltic Sea Region supported several initiatives tackling the diverse challenges faced by the Baltic Sea region’s transport sector. We united our efforts to make our region more accessible, better connected and less polluted, ultimately improving the overall mobility experience in the area while protecting the environment. Read how Interreg Go LNG, BSR electric and Sohjoa Baltic have contributed to green mobility and innovation in transport sectors in the region.

Highlights of my IVY journey on the shores of the Baltic Sea

More than 540 volunteers aged 18-30 have joined the Interreg Volunteer Youth (IVY) initiative since March 2017 to experience and learn about cross-border, transnational or interregional programmes and projects. One of them is Luca Arfini, a young Italian passionate about communication. Read what it meant for him working as an Interreg Reporter at the Managing Authority/Joint Secretariat (MA/JS) of Interreg Baltic Sea Region.

Fight towards gender-equal, democratic and transparent Europe

During its summer 2021 plenary part session, the Assembly celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (the Istanbul Convention) with a High-Level Panel on the topic. Moreover, the session was also an occasion to discuss other key themes related to Europe’s challenges for a democratic and transparent society, including media freedom, racism and xenophobia, the pandemic’s side effects on our socio-economic situation and clarity over donations to political parties.

How water-smart ideas make the Baltic Sea region thrive

From a rich marine life to beautiful vacation places, the Baltic Sea offers numerous resources that can be exploited to boost the economic growth of the region without harming its ecosystem. Interreg Baltic Sea Region funded multiple cooperation projects that have contributed to a sustainable and innovative blue economy. Good and successful examples of smart blue initiatives include ALLIANCE, Baltic Blue Growth, Capacity4MSP and Blue Platform.

SOC Group joins PACE in firmly condemning the appalling deterioration of human rights in Russia, Belarus and Turkey

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), during the 2021 spring plenary session, has once again expressed its concerns on the worrying human rights situation present in Russia, Belarus and Turkey In fact, when expressing its vision of the Council of Europe's strategic priorities for the future, the Assembly reminded that a key point is “to remain the pillar of democratic security, the guarantor of human rights and rule of law, as well as platform for genuine multilateralism in Europe.”

The 2020 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize rewards the effort to protect women’s rights

During the opening of the Assembly’s spring plenary session, the 2020 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize was awarded to Loujain Alhathloul, a prominent women's rights activist and one of the leaders of the Saudi feminist movement. She has been arrested and released on several occasions due to her opposition to the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia. In May 2018 she was imprisoned on the charge of "attempting to destabilise the kingdom" and this February she was finally released, but she is still subject to a travel ban and forbidden from speaking to the media.

Cooperation as the key to a climate-neutral Baltic Sea region

A common challenge for the countries in the Baltic Sea region is how to produce green and climate-neutral energy. In fact, as much as 75% of the EU greenhouse gas emissions still come from energy use and production. Cooperation and sharing good practices in Interreg projects, such as LowTEMP, Baltic Integrid and Area 21, can be a game-changer in accelerating the energy transition in the region.

“The most effective thing for solving the climate crisis is to adopt better policies and to hold the biggest polluters accountable” – Ecosprinter

Bas Eickhout is a Member of the European Parliament for the Greens since 2009. Currently, he is the deputy chairman of the Greens–European Free Alliance group, as well as the vice-chair of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, and a member of the Delegation for relations with the People’s Republic of China.
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