Bankwatch Romania and Greenpeace Romania organized a Round Table on Wednesday, April 3, at Petroşani University to facilitate a discussion between representatives of the European Commission and local authorities, associations, trade unions and the business community, as well as representatives of the Ministries of the European Funds and Energy. The objectives of the meeting were to understand the opportunities created by the Carbon Regions Transition platform and to start a direct dialogue between Brussels and the Jiu Valley.
The event presented the initiative of the European Commission, the Platform which aims to support the identification of economic alternatives in regions where the main industry – coal mining – is supporting fewer jobs. The challenges in the Jiu Valley have also been discussed, including the emigration of the active population or the attraction of European funds in certain sectors.
The authorities agreed that the participation of all actors is important, with the Ministry of European Funds confirming that a strategy will be developed in the next period which will be correlated with the next round of European funding. Representatives of the European Commission have highlighted the need for collaboration between authorities to implement projects that benefit the whole of the Valley, but also the inclusion of all relevant parties in the process, especially local unions and associations.
Two projects that could be implemented and extended by supporting the Platform were visited: the Petrila Urban Regeneration Project, which proposes to convert the industrial heritage of the closed mine into the new administrative, cultural and business center of the locality, as well as the initiative to build a series of mountain bike trails starting from Straja and other mountain resorts.