Nikos Mantzaris participated in the 2nd Forum of Just Transition Mayors organized by the Mayor of Weisswasser, Germany on September 12, 2019. The forum was attended by 15 mayors from 7 European countries (Germany, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic, Poland and Bosnia and Herzegovina), Greek MEP Petros Kokkalis, many representatives of the civil society, trade unions as well as journalists.
The aim of this international initiative, launched last year by Kozani Mayor Lefteris Ioannides who organized the 1st Forum of Mayors in Kozani, Western Macedonia, is to strengthen the cooperation between lignite municipalities across Europe on issues related to the transition of the local economies towards sustainable economic activities in a socially just manner.
Particularly promising was the fact that in addition to Lefteris Ioannides, the new mayors of Florina (Vassilis Giannakis) and Amyntaiou (Anthimos Bitakis), also participated in the forum, thus demonstrating their interest in continuing the work on Just Transition in the region of Western Macedonia.
The following day, the mayors and NGO representatives met in Berlin with the German Minister of Environment, Mrs Svenja Schulze, where they had the opportunity to discuss their impressions of the forum, the German government’s plans for a full phase out of coal and lignite by 2038 at the latest, and the support the German government is planning on providing to the country’s lignite mining regions.
Finally, the mayors signed a joint declaration to cooperate on Just Transition issues.
You can read the full report of envoy kozani.tv’s two-day visit to Weisswasser and Berlin (in Greek) here.
You can also see the statements of all the Greek participants, including Nikos Mantzaris here: