On the 16th of April, the EUAbout team had the pleasure to attend a conference in the European Committee of the Regions’ headquarters in Brussels, named “Using social innovation policy approaches to help cities and regions realise the potential of the European Pillar of Social Rights”. As part of the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, the conference served as a platform to launch the new Social Innovation Community pool of practice, aimed at supporting cities and regions across the EU to achieve the goals of the Pillar.
The event counted with the presence of Mrs. Gunta Anča (member of the European Economic and Social Committee) and Mr. Dominique Bé (DG of Employment and Social Affairs at the European Commission) as honourable moderators, amongst others.
Throughout the morning, eight different speakers from private and public entities were invited to explain the projects that they have been implementing in their local areas. All of them have a social-sensitive approach and aim at increasing the standards of welfare of the local communities, with a particular emphasis on three axes of social rights: fair working conditions, equal opportunities and social inclusion. The presented initiatives, which come from locations as diverse as Lille, London, Navarra Region, Brescia, Gdynia, Brussels, Zagreb and Mechelen, have all been designed, to a certain extent, to be potentially extrapolated to other cities and regions in the European Union.
In the afternoon session, the attendants were invited to participate in an inspiring “World Café” where they had the opportunity to talk closely to the speakers and learn further about their experiences. The small-group workshop format was the perfect setting to get first-hand information about the specific implementation of the projects and their results up to the date, with a view to encourage the attendants to promote similar initiatives in their own local area.
We would like to give a special mention to REVES, which was the main organizer of the event and managed to offer a fructiferous platform for exchanging ideas on local development. We will be more than pleased to offer our services to the public and private authorities who decide to take on one of the eight projects or develop one of their own.