(Source: European Commission)
“Check against delivery”
Borders have always been at the leading edge of European cooperation.
Border regions are the living laboratories of European integration. And I am delighted to see, that you are already playing this role, of leading edge, living laboratories, for the New European Bauhaus as well.
This Bauhaus is a vision not just of a greener, more sustainable Europe, but a Europe which uses innovation and design thinking, to make sustainability more liveable, more beautiful, and more human-centred.
In other words, sustainability with style.
The New European Bauhaus aims to improve citizens’ lives, by improving buildings and public spaces, products, services and ecosystems and importantly, mind-sets and behaviours.
To trigger these profound transformations, we need to bring together citizens and governments, businesses and designers, architects and scientists: creative minds across many disciplines working together to reimagine sustainable living in every region of Europe.
Isn’t this what border regions do? – bringing people together, crossing the established limits of silos, to the benefit of all involved? It is wonderful to see this understanding and this experience contribute now to the New European Bauhaus concept.
One of the winners of the 2021 Bauhaus prizes was in fact an interreg project, and several of the 2021 winners, and several of the finalists, for this years’ prizes, are in fact from border regions.
So you all have the potential to lead. I encourage you to actively promote the New European Bauhaus in border regions, including via the new generation of Interreg programmes. And I urge you to take advantage of 3 new key forms of support that we have created for regional and local stakeholders.
First, technical assistance for municipalities and functional areas, including of course borders. We launched a call on 30 March, for those who need expertise, to turn their Bauhaus plans into reality. And we have made specific provision for cross-border entities.
Second, later this year the Commission will announce a dedicated call within the Urban Innovative Actions and the total value of the call will be 20 million euros for the implementation of 4 or 5 innovative solutions in line with the New European Bauhaus.
Third, in collaboration with the European Investment Bank, the Commission has prepared a voluntary financial instrument for investments fulfilling New European Bauhaus values. This will be launched precisely this month, June 2022.
I urge you to take advantage of all these opportunities, and that has always been promoted, and encourage those around you to do the same.
Border regions have the experience of working with many stakeholders, and by definition, you draw on multiple traditions of thinking, and you are open to new ideas and innovation.
You have been at the leading edge, of previous waves of European innovation and integration. So what better places than the borders, to create the ways of living, of our new green future? Sustainability with style and quality of life!
I am sure that the experiences about which you will hear today will be inspiring and reassuring on the value of this concept, the New European Bauhaus, for cross-border cooperation in Europe.
I sincerely wish you a fruitful discussion.
Thank you very much.