European Regional Framework for Cooperation (ERFC) took part, from July 2022 until December 2022 in the project Post Coal Futures Lab funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), an organization of the European Union.
The project aims at becoming a practical, experimental and participatory pillar of the Just Transition, complementing existing support systems, such as financial resources within the Just Transition Mechanism and the technical support provided by the Just Transition Platform.
1st mini lab – florina 10/2022
In 2022 Mini Labs were established in 4 European regions eligible for the Just Transition Mechanism: Silesia and Greater Poland (both Polish), Silesia-Moravia (Czech Republic) and Western Macedonia (Greece).
ERFC represented and organized Western Macedonia’s Mini Labs. The aim of the meeting was to define the individual elements of the online platform – ‘’Investment Maturing Platform’’, which will contribute to attracting investments and creating new jobs or upgrading the existing ones, for the areas that will be at the center of the post-lignite era.
The invited speakers of the event were important representatives of the local government, the Chamber of Commerce of Florina, the Plan for the Just Transition Development Plan (NJTDP), the University of Western Macedonia and prominent businessmen from the Region of Western Macedonia. In addition, the coordinator of the PCFL project, Aneta Skubida, as well as Javier Goddon, member of the EIT, attended in person.
A very constructive discussion took place between the speakers and the attendees. The conclusion is that, since Greece is the first country with an approved European funding for the energy transition, of which 1.63 billion euro are intended for Western Macedonia, it is imperative for the online platform to be developed in the region of Western Macedonia and become a point of reference about financing and a problem solver for all countries in the post-lignite era.
The platform will be based on the pillars of the Just Development Transition Plan:
-industry, craft and trade
-smart agricultural production
-technology and education
Invited speakers of the event were Nikolaos Petropoulos, president of ERFC, Savvas Sapalidis, president of the Florina Chamber, Aneta Skupida, coordinator of the PCFL project, Konstantinos Mousouroulis, president of the coordination committee of the NJTDP project, Mary Prayati, head of the planning & evaluation unit managing authority ESPA- NJTDP project, Ioannis Boukis, managing director of the Just Transition Development Company S.A., Grigorios Tsioumaris, deputy regional director of NJTDP, Petros Naumidis, Manager Director of Genuine Florina Pepper, Vassilis Tiriakidis, Manager Director of B&T composites and Makis Mavridis, Manager Director of the Alpha Estate.
Media coverage: Mrs. Isaia Tsaousidou, president of the international board of directors of the Association of European Journalists.
In the framework of the Greek Mini Labs ERFC organized a TV Panel with high-relevance stakeholders was organized by ERFC.
The objective is to strengthen relations, momentum and visibility for the tested idea of investment maturing platform (which has already gained big interest).
Delignitization and the post-lignite era in Greece and in particular in Western Macedonia were the topics that occupied the discussion held at oncamera.gr, on 23/11/2022 in the context of the Post Coal Future Lab program, funded by eit Climate -KIC, and moderated by Saya Tsoushidou, President of the Union of European Journalists.
Konstantinos Moussouroulis, President of the Coordinating Committee of the Just Development Transition Plan, analyzed the role of this ambitious plan, its course during his Presidency and the actions that have been carried out to date.
In particular, he emphasized that the transition to sustainable development took shape with the Green Agreement that secured the resources necessary to support the energy and digital aspect but also to ensure funds for the benefit of the most affected areas, i.e. Western Macedonia and Megalopolis.
He also underlined that Greece came out strongly to claim the largest possible share of these resources and with this plan the goals were set to compensate for the negative economic and social effects of the previous decade and to seek to diversify the Greek production.
Ioannis Boukis, Managing Director at the Hellenic Company of Just Development Transition S.A., who has undertaken the implementation of the delignitization investment plan which is, among other things, the diversification of the production base of the areas of just development transition, the upgrading and utilization of the lands which are included in the Depolitization Zones, explained how it will be carried out and what is included in the planning for attracting new investors in Western Macedonia, explained how it will be carried out and what is included in the planning for attracting new investors in Western Macedonia.
Nikos Petropoulos, President of the ERFC, the organization that implements a wide range of European programs for climate change and lignitization, presented a new idea, the creation of an Investment Maturing Platform for the maturation of investment projects in the lignite regions of Europe. The idea as well as the method of implementation of the platform is a product of cooperation between all the actors of the Post Coal Future Lab project and the EIT climate KIC.