Final Conference for EU Project 'RECENT'
The EU Northern Periphery and Arctic Program funded Renewable Community Empowerment in Northern Territories (RECENT) Project held its final conference in Scotland House, Brussels on June 6th, 2018. The project is aimed at helping peripheral rural communities take control of energy assets, in particular those linked to the water system. Delegates included Kirsti Mijnhijmer, Head of Secretariat, Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme and Pierre-Emmanuel LeClerc, EU Commission, DG Regio who both addressed attendees . It was the first time Mr LeClerc had spoken at an event in his new role (and spoken in English as well) and we were delighted to welcome him along and give him this opportunity! The conference was opened with a welcome from Ewan Ramsey of lead Partner International Resources and Recycling Institute, Scotland.
To further spread the word of the RECENT project and to bring in a wider audience than may have been possible if the conference was open to attendees in Brussels, there was a live stream of the conference. This live stream was hosted via the RECENT Facebook channel and promoted through our social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and Linked In. Due to an unseasonably hot day in Brussels some attendees were unfortunately unable to make it to the conference, but were able to tune into the stream and not miss out altogether.
As well as Mr LeCLerc and Ms Mijnhijmer, there were a range of speakers from within the project talking on a range of topics, it is fair to say all speakers were highly engaging and thought provoking. Iarla Moran of Mayo County Council, Ireland, gave a stirring talk on the hidden potential of water assets and co-management. Each of the five regional partners; Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Sweden and Finland; presented on one of their pilot sites giving an insight into how RECENT has made an impact in each of the countries – indeed Scotland provided a very enjoyable video which highlighted the work that has gone on in the Highlands. .
The brief look at each country’s pilot sites was followed up by a presentation from Eva Pongracz of University of Oulu who introduced one of the project output documents that listed all the pilot sites which have been realised as part of the project and gave an overview of the benefit this work will bring to the European periphery. The conference then closed with a look at some of the other outputs including a quick demo of the online Virtual Learning Campus that will run after the project ends. The conference was closed once again by Ewan Ramsey who summed up and invited the audience to take advantage of some hard earned canapes!