The New European Bauhaus is a win-win for Europe's future

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In a webinar organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), participants advocated that the New European Bauhaus must serve the European people and help build a more inclusive and sustainable EU future.

Architecture combined with sustainability and social aspects. The New European Bauhaus should not only be a construction style but a comprehensive lifestyle, focusing in particular on health and social services. This is the key finding of the webinar held by the Section for Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and the Information Society on 10 June 2022.

The New European Bauhaus must determine Europeans' future living environment, and organised civil society must be part of the entire process, said Pierre Jean Coulon, rapporteur for the EESC opinion on the New European Bauhaus adopted by the Committee in February 2022. Bauhaus is a great opportunity for win-win-win results: winning for particularly small and medium-sized businesses through the creation of activities; winning for workers by creating training and jobs; and winning for the environment through better thermal buildings.

A more inclusive and sustainable future

The New European Bauhaus is inspired by the historical Bauhaus created in 1919, and aims to combine design, sustainability, accessibility, affordability and investment in order to help deliver the European Green Deal. It is a creative, interactive and interdisciplinary initiative, providing a space of encounter to design future ways of living, located at the crossroads between art, culture, social inclusion, science and technology.

The EESC believes that the new European Bauhaus must serve the European people, and should include services of general interest in the social and health sector, such as assistance for the elderly. The focus is therefore not only on the buildings themselves, but also on how they are used and conceived in people's living environment. This is extremely important as it affects the way health and social services are organised in those buildings.

On this topic, Carine Puyol from the Union nationale des fédérations d'organismes HLM presented an inclusive-accommodation model for older people in France, where housing needs are accompanied by other needs, especially for social interaction and health support.

Another example came from Germany. Claudia Schwarz, representing the Federal Network of Multigenerational Houses, spoke of so called "multigenerational houses", commenting that in this approach, infrastructure is equipped with facilities to develop local services, thus becoming social service hubs.

Participation brings the EU closer to people

The New European Bauhaus is also a project of hope and perspectives, which is all the more meaningful in light of the current tragic events in Ukraine. Its main characteristic is that it is a participatory initiative, and is thus the perfect opportunity to bring the EU closer to its citizens and their local areas through appropriate communication and grassroots initiatives.

The Bauhaus brings a cultural and creative dimension to the European Green Deal with a view to enhancing sustainable innovation, technology and a sustainable economy. Based on a new lifestyle, this cultural movement aims to build a greener and fairer future for Europe. The objective is to provide people with access to goods that are circular and less carbon-intensive in their households, workplaces and public buildings, thanks to practical experiences that should be promoted as close to citizens as possible, in the area and neighbourhoods in which they live.

Krzysztof Balon, President of the EESC Permanent Group on Services of General Interest, stressed that the projects and actions of civil society organisations within the New European Bauhaus will improve people's living conditions in a sustainable way, leaving no one behind, and will be a wonderful example of democratic participation in our Union.

To start the debate and shape the EU's future, the European Commission is organising The Festival of the New European Bauhaus in Brussels and online from 9 to 12 June 2022. The event will include a fair, a cultural programme, a forum and side events, and will be an opportunity to discuss a future that is sustainable, inclusive and beautiful. Anyone is welcome to join, either on-site or online.

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