Conclusions of online discussion
The challenges and prospects of the green transition in the Ionian Islands were highlighted in an online discussion organized by the Ionian Environment Foundation and the think tank for the environment, The Green Tank with the support of the Special Managing Authority of the Ionian Islands Region for the new programming period 2021-2027.
The discussion took place a few days after the submission to the European Commission for approval of the new Ionian Islands Programme 2021-2027, amounting to 287.6 million euros, in order to examine the needs and future opportunities to strengthen the green transition in the Ionian Islands Region.
The two introductory presentations provided an opportunity for discussion and reflection. First, the policy director of the Green Tank, Ioli Christopoulou, presented the funding opportunities for the green transformation of different sectors of the economy, as well as the strengthening of the preservation of the natural environment, arising in the new programming period. Then the Head of Unit A of the Special Managing Authority of the Operational Programme of the Region, Thanassis Spingos, presented the planning so far, focusing specifically on the proposed priorities and indicative actions of the new Programme “Ionian Islands 2021-2027” aimed at the green transition of the Region.
In the discussion, moderated by Costas Kaloudis, on behalf of the Ionian Environment Foundation, the Ionian Islands Regional Governor, Ms. Rodi Kratsa – Tsagaropoulou, who addressed a short welcome speech, the Vice Regional Governor on environment and energy issues, Mr. Ioannou Spyros, as well as representatives of business and production bodies, the academic community, as well as civil society actors from different islands also took part.
In the fruitful debate that followed, very important information emerged as well as conclusions that should be used in the following period:
- The preparation of the Ionian Islands Programme 2021-2027 was based on a series of discussions and participatory consultations from the beginning of 2021 and the proposals and ideas that were formulated in these by different bodies.
- The Ionian Islands Programme 2021-2027 is expected to be approved within the next six months by the European Commission with the first releases of resources expected in the second half of 2022.
- The Programme includes actions related to green transition and climate change, protection of the environment and resources, sustainable mobility, but also the enhancement of human resources with relevant skills to participate in this transition. Among the pilot actions foreseen in the Programme, the provision for strengthening the energy communities stands out.
- Significant interest arises from all stakeholders to submit proposals in the direction of the vision set out in the Programme for the Ionian Islands Region to become a sustainable place.
- However, there are weaknesses in many Local Government Organizations (OTAs) to prepare their own studies and mature projects, especially when it comes to innovative issues, but also to guide citizens and organizations at the local level, due to staff, infrastructure and other shortages.
- In this context, the Region and the competent service express the willingness to provide support and technical assistance, especially if relevant resources are secured.
- There is a strong need for mutual information, networking and cooperation between the bodies operating in the Region, in order to avoid overlaps or the loss of opportunities for synergies on issues of common interest.
- The discussion took place online on Wednesday, November 10, 2021. It is part of the project implemented by the Green Tank entitled “European funding for a sustainable future” co-financed by the Cyclades Preservation Fund, the Ionian Environment Foundation and the Captain Vassilis and Carmen Konstantakopoulos Foundation. The main deliverable project is the report (in Greek) “Financing opportunities for a sustainable future during the period 2021-2027”.
- Watch the two presentations and the recording of the discussion:
- European funding for a sustainable future: Prospects for the Ionian Islands (in Greek), Ioli Christopoulou, The Green Tank
- “Ionian Islands 2021-2027” Progrmme (in Greek) ,Thanassis Spingos, Special Managing Authority of the Operational Programme of the Ionian Islands Region
- Recording of the discussion (in Greek): https://youtu.be/-3escmFCEsk
- The Ionian Islands Programme 2021-2027 as submitted to the European Commission in November 2021 is available (in Greek) here.