Welcome to Governee

by  Alessia Vecchiet

January 30, 2013

The more efficient use of energy is a question of transnational relevance. Due to constantly rising energy prices and due to the negative environmental impacts of current energy trends, it is crucial for the whole European community to find the means and methods ensuring lower and much better energy consumption.

Since the public and the communal sectors are major energy consumers and the bulk of energy loss is mainly due to inefficient heating systems in their buildings, we must pay attention to better tackle the situation of energy consumption in public and historic buildings in our European cities. Policy-makers at local institutions play a pivotal role in highlighting energy issues when it comes to sustainable urban development and they can set the good examples.

As the Mayor of the leading Municipality of the highly innovative GovernEE project, I am proud to have successfully initiated the transnational cooperation of four partner cities, one district administration and two knowledge institutions from five Central European countries. Together we intend to address the timely issue of energy efficiency (EE) and use of renewable energy sources (RES) in public buildings from the holistic point of view of good governance. With this overarching element the emphasis is not primarily on research and technological innovation but on guiding decision-makers and stakeholders and improving their decision making towards a more energy-conscious approach in policy-making. Our partnership will set the stages for the improvement of planning and decision-making competences and of the commitment of policy-makers.

During our cooperation, emphasis will be put on the development of transnational, cross-sectoral strategies and the establishment of a knowledge network as well as on testing several pilot actions linked to the respective elements of good governance. Relevant stakeholders from the public, the private and from the knowledge sectors will participate in the networking.

I look forward to the new opportunities revealed by our towns’ and institutions’ partnership, which hopefully will serve as a good example in tackling the energy efficiency challenges in this specific segment of the public sphere.