Delegates of China-Europa Forum Take Part in 1st EU-China Mayors’ Forum, Brussels, 19-24 September 2012 - 中欧社会论坛 - China Europa Forum

Delegates of China-Europa Forum Take Part in 1st EU-China Mayors’ Forum, Brussels, 19-24 September 2012

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Delegates of China-Europa Forum Take Part in 1st EU-China Mayors’ Forum

Brussels, Sept. 26, 2012

The EU-China Mayors’ Forum held on September 19 and 20, 2012 at the Committee of the Regions (CoR) in Brussels, was the first annual flagship event of the EU-China Urbanisation Partnership. The event brought together EU and Chinese Mayors, Vice-Mayors, local decision-makers, city planners and scholars, businesses and NGOs, all willing to share experience in moving towards sustainable, integrated and efficient solutions.

Heads and some European participants of the China-Europa Forum (CEF) were invited to share experiences.

The EU-China Mayors’ Forum includes a wide range of cross-sector activities and a multi-player involvement open to all relevant actors. DG Energy of the Commission, supported by the Covenant of Mayors, from the European side, and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MoHURD) supported by the Chinese Association of Mayors, from the Chinese side, were appointed to lead the combined coordination of the Mayors’ Forum.

The event was a follow-up to the Joint Declaration on the EU-China Partnership on Urbanisation signed by Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and LI Keqiang, Vice-Prime Minister of China, on May 3, 2012.

The EU-China Urbanisation Partnership is a new political co-operation initiative devised at the top level by China and the EU and launched on the occasion of the 7th China-EU Summit. It aims to address jointly the urbanisation challenges in China through cooperative efforts between stakeholders at national, regional and local levels.

The forum ended with the signing of a Charter which signalled the next phase in co-operation as part of joint efforts in promoting sustainable cities.

Further information:

Press release of the European Commission

Commissioner for Development’s opening remarks

Sept. 19: CHEN Yan Addressed Thematic Event

Eight thematic events were held in the afternoon of September 19 at the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels prior to the EU-China Mayors’ plenary the following day.

Dr CHEN Yan, Executive Chairman of the China-Europa Forum (CEF), was invited to address a side-event entitled “Sustainable Urban Development: The Role of the Civil Society” which was organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). He introduced civil activities on urban development and the role of civil society in China since the reform launched in 1978. According to him, China has seen tremendous progress over the past 30 years in terms of the renaissance of civil society that can be divided into three periods: from 1978 to early 1990, the emergence of civil society; from 1995 to 2000, the constitution and take-off; from 2000 to today, the rise and also the research. Currently, despite this significant growth, Chinese NGOs are slow to find their place in areas where they should play an important role, including in the field of sustainable city.

Mr. Christophe Pons, European Prime Mover of the CEF’s T46c workshop entitled “Role of Inhabitants in the Management of Urban Communities”, shared examples of citizens’ initiatives in sustainable urbanisation in China and the EU. He presented a program of exchanges between people of Lyon / Berlin / Birmingham which highlighted both the efforts of the people in regard to their organization of their actions on the environment.

The following thematic events were also held: 1)From Policy to Practice: Business Opportunities in the EU-China Urbanisation Partnership; 2)The EU-China Sustainable Urbanisation Park: From Concept to Reality; 3)Governing Sustainable Urban Development: Experiences from China and the EU; 4)Realising Sustainable Urban Mobility; 5)Research for Sustainable Urbanisation – Turning Challenges into Opportunities:6)Cultural Heritage as a Key Resource for the Sustainable Development of our Cities; 7) Demo Zones in China: Urumqi, an EU-China Win-Win Business Opportunity.

Mr Julien Woessner and Ms Pascaline Gaborit, European Prime Movers of T41d, and Ms YAN Min, Coordinator of the CEF in Brussels, also attended various events.

Sept. 20: Pierre CALAME Co-chaired the Panel of EU-China Mayors’ Forum

The Plenary of the first EU-China Mayors’ Forum was held from 9:00 to 17:00 on September 20 at the Committee of the Regions (CoR) in Brussels.

Pierre Calame (right), President of China-Europa Forum (CEF) Foundation, co-chaired the first panel entitled “Residential Environment Improvement and Sustainable Urban Management” with Mr SUN Anjun, Director-General of Department of Urban and Rural Planning, Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of China.

Leaders from Chinese and European cities took part in the panel discussions, including Xiong Jianping, Vice Mayor, Tianjin; Lu Ruifeng, Vice Mayor, Shenzhen; Wang Guozhong, Standing Committee Member of the CPC Wuxi; Abdusalam Sadek, Mayor, Yining; Aase Nyegaard, Mayor, Sønderborg (Denmark); Cathy Berx, Governor, Antwerp Province (Belgium); Jean-Luc Daubaire, Vice President, Rennes Métropole (France), and Anneli Hulthén, Mayor, Gothenburg (Sweden).

Mr Calame concluded the one-and-a-half-hour panel by saying: “First, we are still in a period of schizophrenia, caught by the dilemma between the desire of living in ‘modernity’ and the promotion of alternative models. It is not easy to get out of the current model, but we still need to work on future models and implement them.

“Second, if we really want to start the strategic cooperation between European and Chinese cities, a set of proper methodologies of collaboration was required so as to take into account the wide variety of themes and perspectives discussed today (energy, food, transport, citizens etc.).

“Third, we should differ from conventional approaches: the European emphasis on organisational aspects (multi-stakeholders’ engagement, governance), while the Chinese value technological solutions most.”

Sept. 21: CEF Sought Potential Opportunities on EU-China Urbanisation with Partners at CoR

On September 21 the China-Europa Forum (CEF) organised a roundtable meeting at the Jacques Delors Building of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) in Brussels.

Alongside the first EU-China Mayors’ Forum, the CEF took the opportunity to bring together several European partners, sharing existing initiatives and experiences on urbanisation collaborations with China, and discussing the added values and challenges of the EU-China partnership. Participants also covered issues such as what they could contribute to the new political entity and how they could work together in the future.

Representatives from several organisations took part in the discussions including the European New Towns and Pilot Cities Platform(ENTP), Reconstruire l’action publique(RAP),the French Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and Spatial Planning, the French Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee of the French-Chinese Agreement on Sustainable Urban Development, the Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer, ICLEI-Europe and the Covenant of Mayors.

Mr Calame underlined responsibilities and critical roles of civil society in governance which has been a tradition for European citizens but rare in China.

Urban issues have been identified as the leading concerns of the CEF since its initiation in 2005. A variety of workshops relating to City, Territory and Sustainable Development were established one after another, ranging from urban planning, heritage, urban inhabitants, urban agriculture, city governance, social housing, transport to training of public servants, etc. In the Joint Declaration on the EU-China Partnership on Urbanisation signed by Mr Barroso and LI Keqiang on May 3 there is a similar list of topics to be covered in future collaborations.

Dr CHEN Yan, Executive Chairman of the CEF, and Ms YAN Min, Coordinator in Brussels of the CEF, also attended the meeting.

Sept. 24: Pierre CALAME Attended the Briefing presentation on Urbanisation Trends in Europe for the NDRC’s delegation

On the morning of September 24 the working meeting on all aspects of the Governance of the Partnership was organised in Brussels between the DG Energy and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China, respectively represented by Mr Philip Lowe, Director-General for Energy, and Mr XU Xianping, Deputy Director of the NDRC.

Following the meeting a briefing presentation on Urbanisation Trends in Europe was organised. Four European experts on urban issues spoke to the gathering. Pierre Calame, President of the China-Europa Forum (CEF) Foundation, briefed on the development of European cities over the last 50 years focusing on the crucial transitional phases in the process. He answered questions raised by Chinese representatives.

The other three speakers were Ms Cristina Gutierrez-Cortines, Member of the European Parliament, Mr Christian Egenhofer, head of the Energy and Climate Programme at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), and Mr Pierre Laconte, of the Foundation for the Urban Environment.

Chinese officials were from the Department of Development Planning, Department of International Cooperation, and the China Centre for Urban Development of NDRC. Their European counterparts were from DG Regional Policy, DG Energy, DG Trade and etc.

(Source: China-Europa Forum)

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