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Between 20th and 22nd February 2018, we had the pleasure of hosting a six-person study visit from Pomorskie, titled ‘With energy, for the region’. Among its participants were members of local government and representatives from the Regional Fund for Environment Protection and Water Management in Gdańsk.

The two-day meeting took place as part of ‘Green Europe – let’s do it together’, a project co-funded by the Regional Fund for Environment Protection and Water Management in Gdańsk. Its aim is to educate entities in Pomorskie on issues surrounding environmental protection, with stress on resources, energy and green transport.

After a warm welcome from Anna Drążek, the Director of Pomorskie Regional EU Office, the guests took part in talks with Commission’s representatives on topics such as energy efficiency, ensuring good air quality and current issues in EU environmental policy.

The first joint meeting was led by Małgorzata Pinault (DG ENER) and Paweł Olechnowicz (DG REGIO), who presented different financing options available on the European, regional and local level to those investing in energy efficiency. Aneta Willems (DG ENV), on the other hand, talked about EU’s joint efforts and instruments to lower emissions, particularly in the context of Cohesion Policy, LIFE Programme, EFSI Funds and Horizon 2020 Programme. The day closed with a discussion on implementing EU environmental policy, and a new expert knowledge exchange tool, TAIEX-EIR Peer 2 Peer presented by Katarzyna Charzyńska (DG ENV).

Over the next two days, the guests had a chance to participate in events surrounding the Covenant of Mayors. In its 10th year running, the main event was held in partnership with the European Commission, Parliament and Committee of the Regions. The Covenant Investment Forum and closing ceremony proved to be a great opportunity for regions to showcase their achievements and present future plans, relating to either climate or energy.

The Covenant of Mayors was founded in 2008, and is the world’s biggest climate and energy network, working on the municipal level. Its main aim is to bring those representing local authorities together, in a voluntary way and work towards and beyond EU’s own goals in these two fields. Currently, it has 7000 regional and local government bodies as members, from a total of 57 countries.

Please feel free to browse through our picture gallery from the event.