HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform gGmbH
Bottom-up approach to green investments projects in Greek and German municipalities discussed in multi-stakeholder forums between the representatives of the municipal authorities, business and civil society to solve structural difficulties in the labor market and energy supply.
Bottrop, Germany, Thessaloníki, Greece
Since 2009 Europe is struggling with the global financial crisis. The most unfortunate course of events occurred in Greece, where the level of public debt exceeded 180% GDP, the youth unemployment rate reached 50%. The economic crisis brought also the political crisis, that can mostly be seen on the North-South axis: Germany-Greece. Meanwhile, a framework for resilient Energy Union was developed, bringing the challenges of energy transition. The need for political solutions on the European level is urgent, however it is also important to enhance a bottom-up approach in the European integration policy. Thus, developing German-Greek cooperation on the municipal level can be a complementing element in overcoming not only the financial crisis, but also the lack of trust in the European Union.
Inviting these 2 municipalities to participate in a workshop with other communities that can share "good practice" approaches to energy supply and quality of labor or exchange their experiences with similar structural problems should bring: 1) better understanding of own limits and chances, 2) multi-stakeholder ownership of development strategies, 3) international partnership for rebuilding European integration. Learning from the experiences of others should be the added value for Bottrop and Thessaloníki. The later follow-up initiative would aim at developing more replicable multi-stakeholder decision-making models for more democratic approach in shaping local investment plans/industrial policy and sustainable development in Europe.
The cooperation between the communities will be based on the proven and successful HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Trialogs, a discourse approach for formulating consensus pathways on the pre-state level. During a Trialog a wide range of essential social perspectives is uncovered, based on the different experiences and power potentials of the stakeholders and thanks to an argumentative deliberation exchanged among them. The Trialogs create transparency regarding stakeholder positions and open the cross-party way to win-win situations. The first Trialog workshop will take place in Berlin and include communities from France, Poland, Germany and Greece. Evaluation of the outcomes will be delivered by follow-up research based on next workshops and study visits in Bottrop and Thessaloníki.