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Eurocities conference supports urban co-creation, focuses on cities’ climate leadership

On 8–10 June 2022, the annual conference of the Eurocities network consisting of large European cities will bring together city leadership and policymakers and a host of EU policymakers and public officials. This year’s themes include the inclusion of young people, co-creation and cities’ leadership in combatting climate change. In the panel discussion, Mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen will talk about climate themes and the inclusion of the city community in climate solutions. Helsinki and Deputy Mayor Anni Sinnemäki last chaired the Eurocities Economic Development Forum (EDF) which convened in Mannheim in March 2022. Helsinki’s term as chair began in November 2020 and will continue until June 2023. Now, in connection with the annual conference, the discussions had at the EDF will be analysed in terms of the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility, among other topics.

The annual conference, held in Espoo, Finland, this year, will have about 400 attendees from various cities around Europe. The conference will bring key EU policymakers to Finland, including Executive Vice-President of the Commission Frans Timmermans, Commissioner for Democracy and Demography Dubravka Šuica, and President of the European Committee of the Regions Apostolos Tzitzikostas. In addition to Frans Timmermans, the keynote speakers include European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel via video call and Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering Tytti Tuppurainen

Helsinki is strongly committed to Finland’s sustainable growth programme, within which cities and their innovation ecosystems play a prominent role. Mayor Vartiainen will participate in the annual conference’s climate panel discussion on 10 June.

“Combatting the climate crisis is a challenge shared by all of humanity in which cities’ role cannot be ignored. The City of Helsinki aims to be a pioneer in climate expertise in every way, and the perspective of climate is an overarching theme in all of the City’s decision-making,” Mayor Vartiainen says. 

The annual conference will also delve into the development of vitality in cities and shared themes that support the competitive ability of cities. The event will also be joined by Director of Economic Development Marja-Leena Rinkineva, since Helsinki’s Department of Economic Development has played a key role in setting the goals for the Economic Development Forum of Eurocities. The areas of focus for 2022–2023 are an inclusive green transition and circular economy, digitalisation and technological development, and sustainable tourism after the COVID-19 pandemic, all of which have key significance in ensuring long-term economic sustainability.

”At the annual conference, we will look at how the role of cities can be improved in economic recovery. The Eurocities Economic Development Forum supports cities in building a green, digital and fair urban economy. The cities have demonstrated an ability to change, even during a crisis, and they are constantly offering themselves as testing platforms for innovation,” says Deputy Mayor Sinnemäki. 

In addition to this, Deputy Mayor Sinnemäki will present Commissioner Dubravka Šuica with housing innovations and resident-centric development in the Generations Block in the Jätkäsaari district on 9 June.

The meeting of mayors will be held in connection with the annual conference on 9 June. The meeting’s main topic will be the war in Ukraine. The new Secretary General of Eurocities will also be announced. 

The annual conference also includes the Future Mentors programme in which young people from European cities have the opportunity to engage in dialogue with the decision-makers of their cities. As a part of this, Mayor Vartiainen has also had discussions with young people. 

The annual conference on social media, hashtags:
#Eurocities2022, #eurocities and #economicdevelopmentforum 

Programme of the annual Eurocities conference: 

Eurocities 2022 Espoo

Background information about Eurocities 
Eurocities is a network of large European cities that promotes the economic and social development of its member cities. Eurocities supervises interests at the level of the EU, generates information about the EU’s funding application rounds and EU legislation, and functions as a peer learning platform for its member cities. The network includes over 140 cities from 39 countries, which have a total population of about 130 million people. Its secretariat is based in Brussels.