Upcoming events

ECR Localism Summit 2022: Between Natural Disasters And Demographic Decline: Challenges For Local Communities

ECR Localism Summit 2022: Between Natural Disasters And Demographic Decline: Challenges For Local Communities

Localism Summit

10 Nov 2022 09h00L'Aquila, Abruzzo region, Italy


General information

The ECR Group's 2022 Localism Summit will be held in l'Aquila, capital of the Abruzzo region. Marco Marsilio, President of the Abruzzo region, will be hosting this event. The topics to be discussed are:

1. Climate change, hydrogeological instability, and natural disasters: what assistance can local and regional authorities expect from the European Union?

2. Tackling demographic decline and the depopulation of inland areas

 

Topics

1. Climate change, hydrogeological instability, and natural disasters: the assistance that local and regional authorities expect from the European Union.

While there is still much debate on the details, there is little doubt that climate change is a real phenomenon, which is having drastically negative effects on the environment and society at large. Droughts, storms, and an increasingly wild oscillation between extreme seasonal weather are only but some examples that are causing devastating impacts across Europe. In Italy a phenomenon of particular concern is hydrogeological instability and earthquakes - increased rainfall in Italy's overwhelmingly mountainous terrain has meant that the occurrence of landslides, avalanches, and floods has increased.

Local and regional authorities are frequently at the frontline when it comes to dealing with natural disasters. But how can local authorities best prepare for potential disasters? Are emergency services better left in the hands of centralised national governments, or in the hands of those communities who know their own specificities better? This panel will also discuss the European dimension of these questions, such as what aid the EU can bring to local and regional authorities, and how such help can best be used whilst respecting the principles of proportionality and subsidiarity.

 

2. Tackling demographic decline and the depopulation of inland areas

As a whole Europe faces numerous demographic problems, most notably a declining birth rate and an aging population. In peripheral, rural, and inland areas these issues are particularly acute. Over the past decades, large segments of the population have moved either to coastal areas or to urban centres, with younger people in particular moving to the latter in pursuit of career opportunities. This creates a number of issues for the areas and localities in question, with development and policy focused on big cities, which in turn causes them to attract and draw more people from rural areas.

In this panel, discussions will focus on the impact of these demographic issues, and what local and regional authorities can do to tackle them. With the convergence of EU policies on territorial and digital cohesion, how can depopulated rural localities take advantage of the economic and technological transformations to breathe new life into their communities? In the meantime, how do such authorities manage the costs and services for disproportionally older populations?

 

Why in Abruzzo?

The city of L'Aquila is the second largest city in the Abruzzo region, and is the capital of both L'Aquila province and of Abruzzo region. 

L'Aquila and its surrounding region offer many relevant examples for the topics which are to be discussed. Tragically, in 2009 it was the epicentre of one of the most devastating earthquakes in Italy's modern history, which took over 300 lives and left over 40,000 homeless. The trials, successes, and failures Abruzzo faced in anticipating, surviving, and recovering from this disaster contain many invaluable lessons for local and regional authorities all over Europe.

Abruzzo sits in the centre of the Apennines, and as a region with a mostly mountainous interior, hydrogeological instability is a present and ongoing concern for the daily lives of its inhabitants. The way in which Abruzzo has dealt and will continue to deal with the effects of climate change on its native environment, infrastructure, and society is a relevant story for all local administrations.

Finally, it is the region of Mr Marco Marsilio, who currently serves as its President. Mr Marsilio is also the newly elected President of the ECR Group in the CoR (he will assume his responsibilities on 29 June 2022) and a founding member of the Fratelli d'Italia party.

Programme

8.30-9.00 a.m.

Registration

9.05-9.30 a.m.

Welcome remarks

  • Marco Marsilio, President of the Abruzzo region (President of the ECR Group at the European Committee of the Regions)

9.30-10.30 a.m.

Discussion panel I: Climate change, hydrogeological instability, and natural disasters: the assistance that local and regional authorities expect from the European Union

10.30-11.00 a.m

Coffee break 

11.00-12.00 p.m.

Discussion panel II:Tackling demographic decline and the depopulation of inland areas 

12:00-12:05 p.m.

Video presentation "The rebirth of the city of Aquila

12:05-12:30 p.m.

Discussion panel III: The territories of the future: Young ECR politicians

12:30 – 12:45 pm           

Conclusions

12.45-13.00 p.m.

Press conference and signature of the regional cooperation agreement

13.00-14.00 p.m.

Picture with all the participants and lunch at the venue

14:00 –15:30 p.m.

Study visit

15:30–18:00 p.m.

Transfer to the airport

Location

Regional council of Abruzzo region, Via Michele Jacobucci 4, L'Aquila, Italy

Map