Third Belgian stakeholder consultation workshop on European Grants

On June 3rd 2021, consortium partner IGEMO launched the last of a series of three workshops comprising the Belgian national stakeholder consultation workshops. The first two focused on general solutions to the climate change challenge (March 2020) and bikesharing schemes as a way of reducing transport emissions (Feb 2021). This final session took a closer look on means to realise climate ambitions between the PentaHelix pillars, focusing specifically on European Grants as a way of financing local climate projects.
The 50 participants were first informed about the PentaHelix methodology of working on climate actions plans within the Covenant of Mayors framework and involving stakeholders of different pillars.

Then, the province of Antwerp, also a territorial coordinator in the Covenant of Mayors and a regional contact point for European grant applications, offered an overview of the main themes and sectors that will be viable for European projects and grants in the new multi-annual framework. Following the EU’s ambitious Green Deal, it is obvious that climate-related projects in the broadest sense of the word are top priority for the European Commission the coming 7 years. The province of Antwerp gave some insights on what the different EU programmes have to offer and which exact topics they target.
In a third presentation IGEMO tried to put the theory into practice: what do stakeholders need to take into consideration when joining or setting up a European project? How do you go about finding the right programme or finding a consortium? What are the main challenges and success factors? Participants were given a hands-on guide to the do’s and don’ts of a European grant project.

It is always interesting to learn from other countries. Therefore, IGEMO invited Norwegian project partner Viken County to offer a testimonial on the reasons why they joined the PentaHelix project and how they manage to realise their very ambitious climate goals by making optimal use of European grants.
In the final part of the three-hour workshop, the word was given to the participants. In 2 sessions of three break-out rooms, participants could share their project ideas under the guidance of an IGEMO moderator. In 25-minute sessions, the topics ‘housing, building and renovation’, ‘climate communication and participation’, ‘sustainable enterprise’, ‘blue and green networks’, ‘transport and mobility’ and ‘renewable energy’ were tackled.
In this stakeholder consultation workshop, IGEMO aimed at both informing participants on the PentaHelix methodology and European grants as a means to an end, but also offered room for networking and idea sharing. IGEMO hopes that many new climate-related projects will emerge from these kinds of sessions the coming programming period and that more municipalities and stakeholders will join forces in PentaHelix task forces to set up and execute local climate action plans.