News Room

With around 3.6 million inhabitants, the Northern Region of Portugal accounts for almost 35% of Portugal's resident population, 39% of national exports and about 29% of the national economy's GDP. The North region is the most industrialised in Portugal, originating 43 percent of the Portuguese exports. It is no longer just traditional sectors that show an exporting vocation. Wood, electrical and electronic products are beginning to discover the foreign markets and the advantages of internationalisation.

Equipped with good communication and internationalisation infrastructures, (such as roads, motorways, an international airport and the second biggest Port terminal of Portugal)  and having a qualified network of science and technology equipment, the North of Portugal lives with open doors to the world and with an eye to the future.

Francesco Foglia, Italian journalist and FEDRA Young Regional Ambassador for Calabria region, submitted a petition on fighting the spread of the pine processionary moth to the European Parliament calling for the development of a European plan to tackle and prevent this problem.

The pine processionary, a defoliating moth commonly found in southern Europe, is a highly destructive species for pine trees, and is considered to be one of the biggest dangers facing Mediterranean pine forests. Moreover, national and regional provisions are not sufficient to tackle the problem, as they focus on short-term measures.

 Kosovo, located in the Balkans region of Europe, has experienced tremendous economic growth over the last decade and the government is working to strengthen the market economy through a clear European perspective.

FEDRA met with Ambassador Bernard Nikaj, Kosovo’s Ambassador in Brussels, to discuss about regional development, priority sectors and

EU funding opportunities.

 

Overview of Kosovo:

Kosovo is composed of 38 municipalities and is one of the most decentralized country in the Western Balkans. Most of the functions related to the every-day life of the citizens are under the competence of the municipalities. And thus, a lot of work is being done on the professionalization of the municipal administrations so that the foreign investors can easily interact with the local level. A big step towards a more modern administration system has been made when business registration offices were opened in all the municipalities over the past few years. The outcome of this progress is that it is now possible for companies to register a business in only 1 day.

 

The autonomous province of Bolzano-Alto Adige has always been careful to combine nature, landscape, environment, economy, social life and politics in the best possible way. Clearly, this is possible only if the citizens have the desire, respect and commitment to achieve this goal. On the one hand it requires financial efforts, on the other, sacrifices in terms of comfort which can be balanced by an efficient organisation. Think about the harmony between tourism and nature, thanks to innovative systems,the respect for nature does not exclusively mean sacrifices.

Sustainability is a forward-thinking concept, often beyond political legislatures. Thus, anyone who has decision-making power has to understand that sustainability is for the common good and that it has to be done regardless of any political orientation and beyond any advertising campaign. Finally, the more the results are visible in terms of ecological systems, nature protection and approved by the citizens and tourists, the more we are motivated to continue on this path.

Paniculata is a Spanish fashion brand created by Gabriela Rose in 2013. During her years in college, Gabriela, a fashion, and graphic design graduate, learned everything she needed in order to create, launch and grow her business by herself. It all started with a collection of denim shirts, “My Angel”. And so kind was her angel, that Gabriela’s first line evolved into the brand which now covers accessories, menswear, and children’s clothes. Despite her success, Gabriela wants to own a brand which is exclusive, unique, and environmentally-friendly. In 2014, Paniculata included in its portfolio men’s clothes made out of organic cotton materials. After 3 years on the market, the Spanish brand keeps its core target, women aged between 25 and 50, with exquisite taste in clothes, but tries to cater to the needs of a more diverse audience. What all the customers need to have in common is just the desire to wear something different, something original, in one word, handmade.

iskramdrIskra Mihaylova, an experienced MEP from Bulgaria, is the Chair of the Committee for Regional Development, and also a member of the FEDRA Honorary Committee. As a representative of the regional sphere in the EU, and a devoted militant for the development of the non EU-member states, she agreed to have FEDRA in her Parliament office and talk about her work in the REGI Committee and at the delegations to the EU of the Neighbourhood Countries of Macedonia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The interview started with the topic of the priorities of the Committee for Regional Development. According to Mrs Mihaylova, the focus is on obtaining the best results from the current planning period and to prepare the path for the next legislation concerning the cohesion policy after 2020. Implementation, simplification, and coordination are the key words in Mihaylova’s speech and also the link between the several proposals drafted by the parliamentary committee. 

At the beginning of December, the city of Catania had the opportunity to rethink the economy not as an end in itself but as one of the resources to be deployed for the common good.
‘FESTIVAL DELLA FELICITÀ INTERNA LORDA TERRE’ which took place from the 2nd to the 4th of December in Catania, gave its citizens a time to reflect together on the ways to inhabit the earth (terra). Earth is of course the planet, but at the same time it is the ground on which we rest our feet and relax to contemplate the sky, it is where we build our houses, it gives us the land we cultivate, the places from which we take off and return to, our "cultural homelands", the bonds we build in this world, that make us feel accomplished because they give meaning to our lives. This is why we like to decline the word in the plural, TERRE (lands), because it symbolises the plurality of all forms of life, the plurality of cultures, of the multiple stories of those who live on this planet and the multiple ways that are at people’s disposal to build their culture, art, religion, families.

The participants in this event discussed social entrepreneurship to understand what models can better respond to the challenges of the welfare of their territories and of the planet. The festival was an opportunity to set in motion social enterprise ideas and stories by engaging both the growth actors of the local communities and those who fled their regions. The latter are spread all over the Earth to gather knowledge, to build their experience, in order to bring more to their homeland. In fact, this year the Festival affiliated to the European project FAB-MOVE, "For a Better Tomorrow: Social Enterprises on the Move", which aims to put in connection researchers and entrepreneurs from different countries to explore together the way social enterprises can grow and flourish.

Gunter Pauli, Belgian economist and blue Economy Initiator, Flaviano Zandonai, Researcher at the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises Euricse, Rossano Ercolini, coordinator of the Center for Research on Waste in Capannori and the President of Zero Waste Europe were among the main orators of this festival. Their presence drew the attention of a wide public to the host region, thus boosting its image.

Written by:

Aida Amir Aslani - YLR in Catania 

ITALY

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Food waste is one environment related problem threatening the future of the planet. Worldwide there is a big discrepancy between areas menaced by starvation, and those with a thriving economy and a high quality of life. Food waste is just a symptom of the unbalanced, unfair world we live in. In order to bring everything to a state of equilibrium, and to gain distance from a more uneven future, the EU is currently drafting the European sustainable food policy

Food waste is one environment related problem threatening the future of the planet. Worldwide there is a big discrepancy between areas menaced by starvation, and those with a thriving economy and a high quality of life. Food waste is just a symptom of the unbalanced, unfair world we live in. In order to bring everything to a state of equilibrium, and to gain distance from a more uneven future, the EU is currently drafting the European sustainable food policy.

On November 28, at the Committee of the Regions, the issue of food production was addressed in a comprehensive way meant to contribute to the opinion on sustainable EU food policy the CoR is drafting. France and other EU states have already adopted laws to monitor and reduce food waste, and it seems like the EU is trying to spread this practice to all its member states. But there are, of course, problems to be faced and questions to be addressed: how could an integrated EU sustainable food policy be reinforced?, how important is it to set individual “sustainability targets”?, how stakeholders can be involved to improve the governance in food policy? etc. 

In December 2015, in Paris, 195 countries committed to join the global fight against climate change. The main objective of this first-ever universal, and legally binding agreement was to limit global temperature rise at 2 degrees by 2030. The current effects of global warming are visible in daily meteorological changes and natural phenomena worldwide. Even though opinions on the actual cause of different natural dissasters oftenly witnessed in the last periods are contradictory, climate change is a real problem the whole planet should fix.