Online event: EU Green Deal and the Greek Green Deal

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EU Green Deal and the Greek Green Deal
Online eventMonday 20th of December | 14:00-17:00 CET

In July 2021, the European Commission presented a series of proposals to implement the Green Deal, the goal of making the European Union “climate neutral” by 2050. Since then, the European Green Deal has been both specialised and criticised for its weaknesses in terms of its social objectives. At Member State level, the landscape is even more blurred and often conflicting, with inadequate climate policies, lack of political will and citizens’ ignorance of the impending changes in their lives, for example in terms of employment, energy, housing and quality of life in cities, agri-food, etc.

Heinrich Böll Foundation Greece and the social cooperative enterprise Wind of Renewal / Anemos Ananeosis have tried to answer the question “What would a Green Deal for Greece look like?” by asking researchers, representatives of institutions and experts to submit their views in the homonymous online dossier. This initiative aims to co-shape a Green Deal that leaves no one behind and achieves the transition to a new productive-consumptive model. In this context, the two organisations, are organising the online event EU Green Deal and the Greek Green Deal, on Monday 20 December, 14:00-17:00 CET.

The event takes place on the occasion of the publication of the Policy brief “A Green Deal for Greece”. The online discussion aims to contribute to the information of Greek citizens and to trigger a fruitful dialogue between a wide range of civil society actors and competent authorities on this strategy, the opportunities and challenges for its implementation in Europe, as well as in Greece.

The debate, which is the first of a series of others that will follow, is with the support of the European Parliament Office in Greece.

The event will be held in Greek and English, with simultaneous interpretation, and will be broadcasted live here and here

Registration here

For more information, please contact:
– Nikos Chrysogelos, Wind of Renewal,
– Kyriaki Metaxa, Heinrich Boell Foundation Greece

PROGRAM |14:00-17:00 CET

14:00 – 14:15 Welcome, Greetings:

  • Constantinos Tsoutsoplides, European Parliament in Athens
  • Michalis Goudis, director Heinrich Boell Foundation Greece

14:15 – 15:15 A European Green Deal for all

  • Emmanuella Doussis, Professor at the University of Athens, UNESCO Chairholder on Climate Diplomacy “Geopolitics of the European Green Deal”
  • Alexandra Geese, MEP Greens/EFA, “Green Deal and gender budgeting
  • Elsa Durieux, Senior Officer, Sustainable Finance, Smart Cities and Business – ICLEI (tbc)


15:15 – 16:25 A Green Deal for Greece

  • Athena Dimou, Assistant to the Director and President of the BoD – Programs’ monitoring at National Observatory of Athens – CLIMPACT project “The need to link research with decision-making centers to address the Climate crisis. Examples of collaborations at national and regional level
  • Vlassis Oikonomou, Managing Director – Institute for European Energy and Climate Policy Foundation “Heating decarbonization in Greece and the role of energy efficiency”
  • Nikos Chrysogelos, former MEP, chair of Wind of Renewl: “Green recovery of neighborhoods and cities and the role of social economy
  • Maria Mourtzaki, Policy Manager – ActionAid Hellas: “The social dimension of the European Green Deal: elements for inclusive policies

16:25 – 17:00 Wrap up
Moderation: Michalis Goudis, Director Heinrich Boell Foundation Office Thessaloniki, Greece

Social Economy Europe welcomes the European Social Economy Action Plan

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A positive project for Europe, a new chapter for the social economy

On 8th of December, the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis and Commissioner Nicolas Schmit presented the Social Economy Action Plan at a press conference in Brussels.

The Commission’s communication entitled “Building an economy that works for people: an action plan for the social economy” has a horizon of nine years for its implementation 2021-2030, and will be assed in 2025. Social Economy Europe believes that the Social Economy Action Plan is an impressive EU public policy, co-created with social economy stakeholders, that offers a positive project for Europe. An initiative that has the potential to scale up the social economy in Europe, going beyond the traditional 6.3% of total employment in the EU that it currently represents.

“We warmly welcome and endorse the Social Economy Action Plan for which we have been working and advocating since 2014. The Social Economy Action Plan will provide concrete instruments for social economy actors to scale-up all over Europe and beyond our borders.”  Juan Antonio Pedreño, President of Social Economy Europe

The Social Economy Action Plan provides a clear and inclusive definition of the social economy in Europe:

“In the context of this action plan and related EU initiatives, the social economy covers entities sharing the following main common principles and features: the primacy of people as well as social and/or environmental purpose over profit, the reinvestment of most of the profits and surpluses to carry out activities in the interest of members/users (“collective interest”) or society at large (“general interest”) and democratic and/ or participatory governance.

“The Action Plan is a federative initiative, it includes some of our main policy recommendations. The proposal of a Council Recommendation on developing social economy framework conditions, that the Council should adopt in 2023; the new Single EU Social Economy Gateway to be launched in 2030; or the importance of supporting social economy representative networks in every EU MS, as well as the emergence of local social economy contact points in all Member States, are fully alligned with the letter and spirit of our proposals.”
Juan Antonio Pedreño, President of Social Economy Europe

The  policy includes 38 concrete actions to be implemented in the coming nine years, in key areas as: state aid (exploring new possibilities for work integration social enterprises and other social economy enterprises of social utility), legal and policy frameworkssocially responsible public procurement and access to marketspromoting social economy at local, regional and international levelsbusiness supportskillsyouth entrepreneurshipaccess to funding and finance (InvestEU and othe relavant programmes)social economy contribution to the green and digital transitionssocial innovationrecognition and more.

In line with the EU Industrial Strategy , the Commission also launched a Transition Pathway for the Proximity and Social Economy Industrial Ecosystem, that enacts a participatory process that will will result in

“a finalised transition pathway during 2022, summarising the joint work and targeted engagement with stakeholders and mobilising stakeholders to present commitments and joint actions to boost resilience and accelerate the green and digital transition of this industrial ecosystem. The Commission will mobilise different mechanisms to enable this process and facilitate stakeholder cooperation on the roll-out of the transition pathway”.

“This is a very good EU public policy, a policy that inspires and supports a positive project for Europe, a policy that will kick start an entrepreneurial revolution. What excites us the most at Social Economy Europe, is the way forward. All hands are needed now to implement the plan: social economy stakeholders, Member States, EU Institutions, local and regional authorities, researches, financial institutions, the philantropy and investors, the GECES, etc. An adventure in which we look forward to cooperating with our amazing network.”
Víctor Meseguer, Director of SEE. 

Lilian B. volunteer: my time at the Welcommon Hostel was very intense and unique

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My experiences at the Welcommon Hostel

I’m Lilian a 19 years old german girl and I stayed with a friend at the Welcommon Hostel in Athens for over one month participating in the European Solidarity Corps project “Green Social Innovation for young people”. The name Welcommon, fits perfectly to the philosophy of this amazing place. Welcommon means welcome in common. Related to the name the original idea of the Hostel is, that refugees, tourists, and volunteers are all welcome and live together at this wonderful place. During these five intense weeks I have met so many interesting and wonderful people, with different stories and unique backgrounds, from all over the world!

In the following I would love to share my expectations before Athens and my experiences with you.

First, I would like to start with my expectations before coming to Athens.

My Expectations

My friend and I found this beautiful project on a website called: workaway. Workaway is a great website, for travelers, where you can find different projects all over the world. We felt in love with the idea of the Hostel immediately and thought that this project fits perfect to our original dream to do something social and meaningful while traveling. To be completely honest I did not really had any expectations before coming to Greece, because it was my first volunteering project. I expected that the work would be more like typical Hostel work, for example staying at the reception or cleaning the rooms.

I just felt verry exited of the time at the hostel, the new people I will meet, the places I will visit and the new experience I will make. In the following I`m going on with my experience at the Welcommon Hostel

My Experience

Our main tasks at the Hostel were, to give classes to the refugees who live in the Hostel and to everybody who wants to attend. My task was it to give a german and english beginner class and together with the other volunteers an art class. The focus in our classes was on sustainability and environmental education. Specially in our art class we tried to connect painting with sustainability. I also tried to connect my beginner german and English class with topics like climate change, but the classes were more about the basics of the language.

In my german beginner class I teached the Alphabet, the sound of the language and the most useful german words and phrases. In my English class I teached kind of the same, but we also have done some small conversations and a lot more of vocabulary’s, because the most of the students already know the most basic words. It was so beautiful to see how motivated every student was.

The time with our students was also verry intense and emotional, especially because of our talks about their individual background story’s. For example, many of the students are from Afghanistan and during our time at the Welcommon Hostel, the Taliban took over the country. During one class, our students invited us to a demonstration in Athens against the Taliban, which was so heartbreaking to see.

Moreover, we spent much time with the children who live in the hostel. For example, we went to a nice park in the near of the hostel a couple of times. It was so great to see how the children had a great time, grew up and learn new things every day.

As a volunteer participating in the projects organised by Anemos Ananeosis in the Welcommon Hostel you are very free. You can spend your time with every project you would like to do. For example, another volunteer was doing a Boxing-Class in the Morning, or we painted the walls of backyard once. The schedule was from Monday till Thursday, and we had the possibility to design the lessons however we wanted. On the weekend you have free time. So, we had the great possibility to explore the historical center of Athens or the beautiful Greek Islands.

To sum it up my time at the Welcommon Hostel was very intense and unique, because of all the beautiful people I met and all the talks I had with them. Because of the Welcommon Community I have learned so many things about different cultures, perspectives and especially for my future live. I`m feeling so grateful for this time

Lilian Bartsch