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Words of welcome

“Local Action. Global Shift” at the heart of Europe

Günther Platter
Governor of Tyrol
A warm welcome and “Grüss Gott” to all the local and regional decision-makers from all over Europe, as well as to members of the European press, here at the Congress of European Municipalities and Regions 2020. Welcome to Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol!

The state of Tyrol lives the motto of this congress – “Local action. Global shift” – in several areas. Whether it’s protecting the Alps as the foundation for people’s lives and livings even in the most remote regions; building the Brenner Base Tunnel – the world’s largest railway tunnel – to relieve pressure on Europe’s most important north-south transit link; or instituting a responsible climate policy: in tackling today’s challenges, Tyrol is mindful of its position as a region in the heart of Europe and is making an important contribution to European overall solutions with its local actions. We have a popular saying that goes, “Talking brings people together.” I hope this will be a key theme for all of you throughout the congress here in Tyrol. The only way we can overcome the challenges of our time is if Europe’s municipalities and regions come together in a strong spirit of cooperation. The better we do this, the more people will experience and appreciate the European Union as a community of values.

I would like to thank the organisers, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions and the City of Innsbruck, and co-organisers the Austrian Association of Cities and Towns and the Austrian Association of Municipalities. I hope you have a successful event and I wish all participants a pleasant stay with us in Tyrol.

Georg Willi und Christine Oppitz-Plörer
Mayor and Councillor of Innsbruck
Nestled in the Alps, Innsbruck’s appeal lies in its spectacular location, the synthesis of nature and the city, which is steeped in history. Pulsing with life, Innsbruck is a popular destination, offering sport, culture, education and a high standard of living: in short, the ultimate alpine-urban experience. The Alps are a sensitive habitat, where the impact of climate change, a challenge that faces us all, can already be felt. Stepping up to its responsibilities, Innsbruck is taking key steps for the future, from the expansion of its public transport services and cycling mobility, to energy efficiency in residential buildings, right through to the development of energy and climate strategies throughout Tyrol. “Local Action. Global Shift” is the theme of the Congress – putting sustainability and environmental awareness into practice is the order of the day. Inspired by a young Swedish girl and citizens across Europe, young people have succeeded in mobilising society. Realising that their future is at stake, they know the time has come to take a common stand for the environment.

This starts off in the municipalities and cities of Europe, where we have an opportunity to make a difference at the regional level. Innsbruck is being transformed into the centre of Europe: in opening our doors to more than 1,000 participants from all over Europe for the Congress of European Municipalities and Regions from 6 to 8 May 2020, we will be taking further important steps towards achieving the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. It is our ambition to promote this cause and take full advantage of this platform for networking.

Welcome to Innsbruck! We look forward to meeting you.
Stefano Bonaccini
CEMR President
In the globalised world that we live in, towns, cities and regions are all interconnected. Increasingly, they are at the forefront of the most striking challenges: climate change, violence against women and vulnerable groups, the fight against poverty, integration, sustainable public services… Even though they may be thousands of kilometres apart. All these challenges call for a renewed model of development in our territories, no matter where we live and exercise our mandate. We must work together to invent new solutions to complex issues. That’s why we have been engaged from the start with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals agenda. For us, the 17 SDGs are of the utmost relevance for local and regional governments. They set a global framework that works as a compass for us to build fairer, healthier and more sustainable societies across the globe. And that’s why, ten years ahead of the SDGs global deadline, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions is launching its congress with the motto: “Local action. Global shift. Living the Sustainable Development Goals.”

On behalf of Europe’s associations of towns and regions, I invite you to our congress taking place from 6 to 8 May 2020, in Innsbruck, a city that particularly embodies sustainable development. Join us with a thousand participants from European towns, cities and regions and beyond. Mayors, leaders and representatives from local and regional governments, as well as our partners: representatives from national governments, European institutions (the EU and the Council of Europe), the United Nations, academics, the private sector and civil society organisations. In short, join the largest gathering of local and regional politicians who, like you, are eager to make the world a better, cleaner, and safer place, and to take action to make it that way.

These three days of exchange and interaction will give you a unique opportunity to learn, get inspired and connect with your peers. Through masterclasses, TED-style talks, interactive sessions with some of the best European and global keynote speakers and leaders; let’s invent the world of tomorrow, win the fight against climate change, reduce inequalities and promote the engagement of citizens.

Join the movement! Together, let’s take the lead and trigger global shift through local action. I truly look forward to working towards a brighter future with you in Innsbruck.