Representatives from Europe's cities and regions will meet in Vilnius, Lithuania, to take part in two conferences being organised by the Committee of the Regions (CoR) with support from the Lithuanian EU Presidency. The first of the two events, entitled "A resource efficient Europe: the contribution of regions and cities", will be held on 2-3 September. The CoRs' Bureau will congregate in the morning of 3 September shortly before the Conference of the Regional and Local Authorities for the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP) holds its third annual conference.
The EU's Resource Efficient Europe initiative aims to help decouple economic growth from the use of resources, supporting the shift towards a low carbon economy, increasing the use of renewable energy, modernising the transport sector and promoting energy efficiency. On 2 and 3 September 2013 the CoR supported by the Lithuanian Presidency of the EU, will hold a conference on local approaches to resource efficiency. The conference will focus on "Resource efficient Europe: policy challenges for regional & local authorities" and "Local perspectives for a sustainable energy sector – Europe 2020 and beyond".
President Valcárcel will also be joined by Algirdas Butkevičius, Prime Minister of Lithuania, during a press conference at 10:30am on 3 September to discuss energy and the internal energy market, one of the Lithuanian EU Presidency priorities. (See the full media programme)
In addition, on 2 September the CoRs' Commission for the Environment, Climate Change and Energy (ENVE) will use the opportunity to hold an external meeting in Vilnius debating several opinions, including Industrial Policy for the Space Industry, a European Strategy on Plastic Waste, and Adaptation to Climate Change.
On 3 September in Vilnius, CORLEAP will hold its third annual meeting where its members will adopt political recommendations ahead of the forthcoming 3rd Eastern Partnership Summit of Heads of State. The aim is to give new impetus to the EU's Eastern Partnership initiative and put forward the contribution of local government in driving this change. The conference is also due to see the appointment of a new co-chair representing the Eastern partner countries.
CORLEAP was established by the Committee of the Regions in 2011 to bring a regional and local dimension into the EU's Eastern Partnership. It brings together 36 regional and local elected representatives - including 18 from the Committee and 18 from the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine).