Ljubljana, the Slovenian capital hosted the annual conference EUROCITIES at GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre last week. The 3-day conference welcomed 141 of Europe’s largest cities, together with 40 partner cities – that between them govern 130 million citizens across 35 countries.
From 15th to 17th November 2017, GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre hosted the annual conference EUROCITIES 2017, with this year’s main topic the “circular economy. The conference is the most important and key event of the organization of European cities, EUROCITIES, welcoming around 500 participants from all Europe.
The organization EUROCITIES emphasizes the importance of the European cities being committed to the transition to a more circular economy, where the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible, and the generation of waste minimised. Essential to the EU’s efforts to develop a sustainable, low carbon and resource efficient economy, and create better conditions for secondary raw materials. This transition is the opportunity to transform the economy and generate new and sustainable competitive advantages for Europe.
Ljubljana – the hosting city with great examples of circular economy
Just a few days earlier, on 13th November 2017, Ljubljana, the European Green Capital 2016 won the prestigious WTM Responsible Tourism Award 2017 at the World Travel Market, London. The expert jury examined over 500 applications and selected 12 finalists and Ljubljana convinced the jury with active cooperation in the promotion of sustainable mobility; organized procurement and distribution of food through the Green Supply Chain; tracking the national green policy (the first gold certificate in the Green Scheme of Slovenian Tourism); the use of qualitative indicators for sustainable development recommended by the OECD; the efforts to manage the tourist flows in the desire to make the citizens more pleasant stay and consequently to create a supply outside the city centre and in the Central Slovenia region. The new award in a series of important international awards confirms the right orientation in the development of Ljubljana’s sustainable tourism and it is rightly recognized as the top destination of sustainable destinations on a global scale.
Take a glimpse of Ljubljana, Europea emerging congress destination: https://youtu.be/qOivUH8Svs4
The conference venue: GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre
The EUROCITIES conference venue was held at the great GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre, also focusing on sustainability and with its development which is oriented towards sustainable development, the leading venue for organizing events in Slovenia. The EUROCITIES 2017 and GR as the venue in this term had a perfect match, since the leading Slovenian venue pays attention to environmental aspects of their activities, bearing in mind sustainable development and responsibility for the environment, with selecting 18 types of waste and with a network of users return them as raw materials, using little energy and water, etc. Their multifunctional B complex of large GR´s exhibition space was truly creatively used for EUROCITIES event: their Marmorna Hall equipped with the furniture from the second hand in a retro design by Ljubljana Re-Use Centre served as the relaxing area and also a place for the plenary session on the other side of this big hall, Stebrna Hall as the most appropriate for hosting complementary activities of congress events was used for a restaurant area, the Povodni mož halls were used for lively, interactive debates and presentations and the lobby of Marmorna Hall greeted the attendees of EUROCITIES with the exhibition of some truly amazing re-use examples.
“The EUROCITIES Conference was extremely important to us. Also at the GR – Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre (GR), where we organized a major part of the three-day conference, we wanted to create an atmosphere that would enchant both domestic and foreign guests. We did it. Thanks and praise have been received from all over Europe. Thanks to everyone, that participated in the project as well as the GR team.” Klement Čepon, Head of PR and Protocol Department at the City of Ljubljana; Head of EUROCITIES Working Group
In the closing ceremony statement, Mayor of Ljubljana, Zoran Janković thanked all conference participants and invited them to visit Ljubljana again with their families and friends. »Welcome to Ljubljana, you have friends here«, pointed out the Mayor and added he is proud of the positive atmosphere prevailing during the whole conference in Ljubljana. He continued we need to understand each other and work together despite our differences. Cities are prepared to share good practices and cooperate with each other as we are aware that we can succeed only with world-wide city cooperation, as the Mayor is convinced.
Tjaša Ficko, Deputy Mayor of Ljubljana: “The reorientation from linear to circular in the future will have a significant impact not only in individual business models, but will change our way of thinking, our economic and social system. If we learn to use and consume less, and also implement the principles of sharing economy, we and our environment will both be the winners”.
EUROCITIES is the network of major European cities, its members are the elected local and municipal governments. EUROCITIES was founded in 1986 by the mayors of 6 cities: Barcelona, Birmingham, Frankfurt, Lyon, Milan and Rotterdam. Today, they bring together the local governments of over 130 of Europe’s largest cities and 41 partner cities, that between them govern 130 million citizens across 35 countries.
Photo: Eurocities Ljubljana