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Alignment to EU Priorities
At a policy level, the EU has seriously committed to the sort of radical sustainable social development and climate action that Thriving Communities aims to nurture.
These commitments are being put into action through the European Green Deal and associated mechanisms such as:
Aims to mobilise local authorities, citizens, businesses, investors, and national authorities to achieve at least 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030 (and ensure that these cities act as experimentation and innovation hubs to enable all European cities to follow suit by 2050). A central feature of the mission will be climate city contracts that will be co-created with local stakeholders and citizens and set out plans for a city to achieve climate neutrality. The mission recognises that rapid decarbonisation will only be possible by ensuring that citizens are at the forefront of creating community-led action
Mission on Climate-Neutral
& Smart Cities
Aims to ensure that the transition towards a climate-neutral economy happens in a fair way, leaving no one behind. The Just Transition Mechanism supports regions in Europe that are most affected by the transition to a carbon-neutral and sustainable economy. These are generally going to be regions that have a concentration of high-carbon energy production and/or industries (eg. cement, steel, aluminium, fertiliser or paper production). Each EU country is required to fully identify these priority regions in Territorial ‘Just Transition Plans’, and outline pathways for their transition by 2030.
Targets turning the urgent challenge of adapting to climate change into an opportunity to make Europe resilient, climate-prepared and just. This mission is focused on supporting 200 regions across Europe to accelerate their transition to a resilient future through actions co-created by communities and citizens.
Adaptation to Climate Change Mission
Captures the grand challenges facing all communities in the 21st century – how to create the changes needed to achieve genuinely sustainable, inclusive and beautiful places to live work and play. The New European Bauhaus aims to connect the European Green Deal to local living spaces, building a sustainable and inclusive future that is beautiful for eyes, minds, and souls. Improving quality-of-life and citizen co-creation and management of the built environment are key goals of the New European Bauhaus.
To boost renovation in the EU, the Renovation Wave for Europe aims to double annual energy renovation rates of buildings in the next 10 years, with 3 focus areas: tackling energy poverty and worst-performing buildings, public buildings and social infrastructure, and decarbonising heating and cooling.
Circular Economy Action Plan
Sets out initiatives along the entire life cycle of products, targeting for example their design, promoting circular economy processes, fostering sustainable consumption, and aiming to ensure that the resources used are kept in the EU economy for as long as possible. The overall goal of the Circular Economy Action Plan is a cleaner and more competitive Europe where flows of materials and energy within cities and regions reduce the pressure of human settlements and activities on natural resources and promote sustainable growth.
Provides a strategic framework for shifting the economic resource base in Europe to a circular model that is grounded on renewable and bio-based materials. Expansion of a sustainable European bioeconomy is projected to create 1 million new jobs by 2030, especially in coastal and rural areas.
EU Bioeconomy Strategy
Aims to re-balance food systems, nature and biodiversity in Europe through much wider organic farming, among other priorities. The From Farm to Fork initiative highlights that making European food famous for its sustainability can give a competitive advantage and open new business opportunities for European farmers. Developing sustainable food production systems is an opportunity for every region, and those that can rapidly transition to regenerative food systems will reap the benefits of being at the forefront of this growing market.
Aims to ensure that by 2030 75% of EU soils are healthy for food, people, nature and climate (while today 60–70% of EU soils are assessed as unhealthy). This mission will have a wide-reaching impact not only on soil health but also on practices in agriculture, forestry, food and bio-based value-chains, biodiversity and the capacity to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Healthy Soils Mission
Restore Ocean &Waters Mission
Targets the task of restoring fresh and ocean water systems for community’s health, ensuring water security, supporting climate mitigation and adaptation, and restoring biodiversity.
Cities and regions are encouraged to develop their own Local Green Deals that are co-created by local administrations, industry, business and other local stakeholders to bring the ambitions of the EU Green Deal down to an implementable local level.
Local Green Deals
The mission and goals of Thriving Communities are very well aligned with these EU strategies, missions, plans and programmes.
Communities need to build new ways of working and creating change if these EU ambitions are to be made real. Thriving Communities is helping communities in SE Europe to do this – to organise, resource, plan and manage radical enough processes of change; so that together we can achieve the vision of healthy, inclusive and prosperous communities.