(Rome, 4 November 2019) The European Week of Regions and Cities, that took place in October 2019, is an unmissable event for those cities and regions who wish to meet and discuss their work towards creating growth and have an impact on European governance. UNIMED, as part of two participating Interreg MED Communities, the Sustainable Tourism Community and the Urban Transports Community, seized this occasion to display its committed position in this matter, a position which the existence of its SubNetworks on Mediterranean Tourism and Transports and Logistics already illustrate.
UNIMED took part in an international debate dedicated to fostering sustainable tourism in the Mediterranean, an official side event of the European Week of Regions and Cities. The participation of the Interreg Med Sustainable Tourism Community in the European Week of Regions and Cities has been made possible thanks to UNIMED’s involvement in drafting the concept and cooperating with other partners that led them to eventually being selected to be an integral part of this Week. This demonstrates UNIMED’ committed position to the importance of the Mediterranean area for good European governance. This event had the objective of triggering the discussion on the importance of a sustainable approach in European tourism. You can learn more on this specific event here and here.
UNIMED was also partner of the Interreg MED Piazza, which offered the experience of a holistic and multi-stakeholder policy-making process through the participation in interactive activities, such as games and debates focusing on strategies for a greener, smarter and more connected future for Europe. The public square – piazza – is indeed the most iconic space where exchanges and neighbour’s relationships took place, a cohesive urban space and a catalyst of societies drive for change. This event took inspiration from Interreg MED Communities’ experiences, where almost 900 public and private organisations from 13 Euro-Mediterranean countries join forces in territorial cooperation projects to shape policies for sustainable development and cohesive communities in more resilient ecosystems. You can learn more on the Sustainable Tourism Community participation in this Interreg MED Piazza here and on the Urban Transports Community participation here.
In the upcoming years, Mediterranean territories will face an increasing number of challenges. Joining forces, building capacity, engaging citizens and private sector, promoting governance innovation and exploiting the human capital available will be crucial to trigger the change of mindset needed to design new solutions for better policies and actions.
With this objective in mind, UNIMED is also working towards enhancing such exchanges. For example, having the purpose of gathering information and connecting the main actors involved in the topic, the SubNetwork on Mediterranean Tourism aims at promoting synergies, knowledge-exchange and partnerships among the involved Universities, support policy dialogue and strengthen consultation in the Mediterranean, being one of the world tourism hot spots.
Besides, UNIMED SubNetwork Transports and Logistics gathers researchers and experts of UNIMED members, from both shores of the Mediterranean. It serves as an international platform for these actors to share and exchange information and knowledge and to reply to the continuously evolving challenges and needs of the sector.
The European Week of Regions and Cities was therefore an important occasion full of opportunities for the Interreg MED Communities in which UNIMED is part, on the one hand, and UNIMED SubNetworks, on the other hand.