Seminar-Dialogue with the European Commission 2019

Seminar-Dialogue with DG Environment 2019, European Commission © Barbara Pais

Seminar-Dialogue with DG Environment 2019

Partnerships for biodiversity: European policies and the role of Protected Areas

On the 29th of November 2019, the EUROPARC Federation together with European Commission organised the Seminar-Dialogue with DG Environment, a networking event that is now its third edition. Matching policy with practice and promoting an active dialogue between EU policymakers and those implementing EU nature directives on the ground, are the aims of this unique event.

In 2019, we took over the largest meeting room of the DG Environment and sat around the same table 30 participants. EUROPARC members came from all over Europe, representing the work of Protected Areas, regional and national authorities but also private businesses successfully working with EUROPARC Sustainable Destinations.

From Brussels, we welcomed several officers from the European Commission DG Environment (ENVI), DG for Regional and Urban Policy (REGIO) and DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW).

As in the previous editions, the Seminar-Dialogue brought in the European Commission first-hand experience from Protected Areas and Natura 2000 sites, and gave our members the opportunity to hear the latest policy updates from the several Directorate-Generals there represented.

Check the photo album here

Places, People and Partnerships

At EUROPARC, we believe that nature in Europe can thrive thanks to people’s work, motivation and engagement. We looked at successes, but also at challenges and needs on topics such as sustainable tourism, cross-border cooperation, youth engagement, and Natura 2000 management through the presentation of case studies by EUROPARC members. We’ve also heard the perspective of officers of the European Commission who shared wit us also their main policy updates and agenda for 2020, and showed some of their ongoing projects.

Download the presentations:

1) The management of Natura 2000: tools and partnership with neighbours and youth for nature conservation

We addressed the importance of managing nature between transboundary protected areas, as well as the involvement of youth in protected areas and the need to provide better conditions to facilitate the movement of young people to the rural world. In addition, we discussed the important issue of carrying capacity within protected areas, to better manage the impact of activities on the natural environment. The European Commission provided its vision of cross-border cooperation, projects and programme priorities.


 Carrying capacity in Natura 2000 and Protected Areas

The European Commission perspective

2) Rural development in Natura 2000 and Protected Areas: building partnerships with business for sustainable development

How can sustainable tourism bring socio-economic opportunities to Europe? Our guests told us how protected areas can manage tourism through the involvement of stakeholders, and how the model works even across borders. Then, 2 truly inspirational presentations were made by the business entrepreneurs who have sustainability at their core. Michela told us about the importance of respecting the local community, the land and time, highlighting that “meetings should take place on top of the mountains”.  While Victor explained us how rural areas are threatened and thus the need to work multidisciplinary as the only way to achieve sustainability. In addition,The European Commission presented priorities and current projects, as well as the future agenda in relation to the topic.

Ecotourism and sustainable farming as a driving force for rural areas

The European Commission perspective

Preparatory meeting on the 28th October

On the afternoon before the Seminar-Dialogue, we welcomed EUROPARC members in our office in Brussels for a networking event. The aim was to look at how the main EU institutions work in Brussels and share the latest EU policy updates.
Members had also the chance to get a better view of EUROPARC’s work in Brussels (make link to the page Europarc in Brussels), hear who are we partnering with (make link to the page) and get an overview of the political guidelines produced over the last months. All in a very relaxed atmosphere, were we got to know each other better and prepare for the Seminar-Dialogue. It was a pleasure to welcome you all in our Brussels headquarters!


Download the final Programme

Seminar Dialogue_2019 Final program

The initiative will be organised again in 2020. Keep tuned to learn more about the Seminar-Dialogue on European Policies 2020.