Transformation through localisation of policy and decision-making

Scope and objectives

On 28 September 2021 the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), together with ECOLISE and RURENER will hold the closing event of the Communities for Future Week, a week-long series of events at EU, national and regional levels that will explore how best to support ongoing work led by communities on climate change and sustainability in Europe, and encourage others to replicate and adopt good practices. More information on the other events, including the kick off European webinar on 20th September hosted by ECOLISE, can be found here

This event will be held in the context of the European Day of Sustainable Communities 2021 (EDSC21), an annual celebration of pioneering local communities across Europe who are taking action for a better, more sustainable world. Since its launch, Communities for Future worked on the development of policy pathways and recommendations that reflect the reality and current solutions put to the front by community-led initiatives, citizens and organisations

This online event aims to:

  • Share expertise and bring policy recommendations to the attention of EU and national institutions;
  • Explore ways of incorporating civil society's and communities' recommendations into legal frameworks;
  • Discuss solutions for democratic participation;
  • Encourage and inspire others to rethink their impact on the planet;
  • Help reimagine and innovate nature-based solutions.


Communities for Future is a new integrated Europe-wide programme to inspire, empower and enable local community-led responses to the climate and ecological emergency. The initiative was launched in 2020 together with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), RIPESS and RURENER, and in the presence and endorsement of EU Commissioners, MEPs and ECOLISE members.

It is grounded in research which shows that community-led initiatives are highly effective in reducing ecological footprints, building social capital and reviving local economies. It recognises that there is no one solution that fits all, and considers that engaging citizens locally, bridging divides, creating interaction between rural and urban, racialised minorities, vulnerable groups, young and old, North and South and East and West Europe is essential for an intersectional approach.

Since the launch, many steps were taken towards the implementation of the programme, in particular the creation of a policy circle composed of ECOLISE members and non-members working together on 6 topics towards the development of policy pathways and recommendations. More than theory, those 6 policy papers reflect the reality and current solutions  put to the front by community-led initiatives, citizens, organisations.  After months of work and exchanges, these policy papers are mature enough to be shared, discussed, argued, endorsed, strengthened and incorporated into legal acts or any relevant programme. The clear message aimed at EU policymakers and stakeholders in Brussels is that "the path to transformation is through localization of policy and decision-making".

Language regime: this meeting will be interpreted into ES EN FR and international sign language to maximise inclusivity and participation.

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