Do you think it is worthwhile for us to present at this event?

Hi guys, does anyone know if speaking at this EC event worthwhile doing/anything that can be useful to any of the work we/you are doing?

Hello Mr. Appel,

thank you for your kind invitation. It would be good to have a quick call if possible to better understand the context and how we might make a meaningful contribution to the discussion? I can be reached at +32485079163

Kind regards,


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‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐

On Friday, 4 October 2019 11:33, <> wrote:

Dear Ms. El-Imam,

In her political guidelines for the future Commission, President-elect Ursula von der Leyen expressed her will for European citizens to play a leading and active part in building the future of our Union. The importance of more citizen engagement has been recognised and strengthened in the Lisbon Treaty with the European citizens’ initiative and in a number of documents and political declarations, such as the Commission contribution to the Sibiu Declaration for a “new strategic agenda for the EU 2019-2024”.

EU Cohesion Policy provides financial support for sustainable growth to all EU regions. Partnerships are essential for successful implementation of the policy. After 30 years of Cohesion Policy, we have seen good examples of active participations of citizens, local communities and civil society. The start of a new programming period in 2021 is an opportunity to consider how to make the most of the partnership principle for the future.

Against this background, the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission (DG REGIO) is organising a high-level conference on “Engaging Citizens for Good Governance in Cohesion Policy”. The conference will take place on 6 February 2020 in Brussels (The Square conference centre). We will look at how to ensure closer cooperation with citizens and civil society in the governance and implementation of Cohesion Policy and dedicated EU funds. Our aim is to bring together a variety of decision makers and stakeholders.

By way of this letter, I would like to warmly invite you to join me at this event and participate as a speaker in a breakout session on open data and tech to engage citizens. We would be honoured if you could share your views and insights with us.

The session is planned for the afternoon. Please find enclosed a draft agenda. Travel and accommodation will be offered and organised by us, if needed. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact me and my team via e-mail: A webpage dedicated to the event provides the latest information for speakers and participants

Yours sincerely,

Stefan Appel


European Commission

Head of Unit

Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy

Unit E1 – Administrative Capacity Building and European Solidarity Fund

cid:image002.png@01D5722F.F9D0D5A0 @RegioAdmCap


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Hello I’m in Brussels for this event; that means, I will moderate a small session next Wednesday. I did share information about this conference some time ago. The overall profile of this (annual) even fits for edgeryder’s interests. Whether the specific session on governance (see St. Appel’s message) fits is difficult to say. Maybe an expost analysis of the programme may give an indication what to do next year. Anyhow, the contact should be kept. In case interested I have some time next Tuesday to talk with you Nadia. - regards, Martin

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Absolutely, let me know when and where works for you Martin.

Hello Nadja - Tuesday afternoon should fit well. I have a lunchtime appointment and late afternoon apoint still to fit, so 15:00 around Port de Namur seems suitable. regards, Martin

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Perfect, Exki?

ok: 8th Oct. 15:00 Exki -Martin

Im running 10 minutes late

So the follow up to this is
It looks like all of this is a run up to DG regio shaping a procurement bid for technical/expert support to help local administrations to do citizen consultations because they are required to do it (legally) in order to access funds from DG regio (apparently it gets 1/3 of EU budget) to plug gap between lagging regions in Eu and national Cities, and between regions in different countries (I think).

Apparently what happens is that DGs know they are going to do something like this and reach out to people they have heard are good experts. They invite them to an event to hear them out and get input they will use to shape how they think about/ identify what is needed to achieve a certain desirable outcomes. And then they go into a closed off process where they write the call for tenders/proposals. A good indication that you could be in the running is that you get invited into several events they organise as a speaker/panelist. If you are invited once and then not again, you are probably not what they are looking for and that is an indication that they are not interested in your approach and you shouldnt really bother to participate in the call. So you use the events as a way to add your input/proposal/approach in the call and to gauge interest from the funders. So we need both to prepare materials for the one event as well as to figure out what other events are being organised by the same DG and get ourselves invited as speakers. E.g if city of milan is hosting one, we talk to our contacts and see if we can be invited. Same with other cities where we have been doing work.

  1. We go to the event that we were invited to and do a 5 minute intervention describing what comes out of the Edgeryders citizen engagement/consultation and what has come out of it in the form of anecdotes of people participating and then the good stuff that comes out of it for citizen and for institution

  2. We get a list of all the local events that dg regio will be organising over the next year and get ourselves invited as speakers where possible through our advocates ( C.A with help from Alberto)

I will need help with the following from @marina and others who wish to be part of the process for finding new sources of financing

  • Research which events DG regio will organise in the coming year and produce a list of the organisers.

  • Produce short short description of what we do as well as check set cards/ individual story journeys describing what we do without giving e.g mcKinsey any language they can copy in a procurement bid.

The event to which we have been invited is in February so we have time. This is just a heads up.

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Also we need champions in cities and govs to signal demand for our approach. @bob @Alberto and @noemi are mostly the ones that have had alot of interactions with cities and regional administrations I think? Any reflections/want to be involved in this (Note: nothing happens on this till say december)

Haha, I recommended you as a speaker and it looks like they listened! I was drafted for a workshop where we discussed how that conference might go.

Upside: REGIO has tons of money and goes deep into the territories of the EU, which is where the action is. Links nicely to World Bank-MENA stuff. The conference is super high level, speaking there is major validation.

Downside: it is a new context, and we would need to study.

On the whole, I say yes, let’s do it. And then co-ordinate with Fabrizio, so that you are protected and his vision (which is close to ours) is represented.

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Yes. Happy to help if I can. Let me know how. Appears to be plenty of examples of successful and failed models of citizen engagement (hate that term) by city administrations. Has anyone researched this yet? Problem has been mainly that city governments are not prepared to move to the stage if citizen empowerment, since it requires a major shift in local administrative power structures and risks. In your talk, perhaps you should unpack the meaning of ‘engagement’ and ‘empowerment’ and the notion of moving from a city ‘ego’ system to a citizen led ‘ecosystem’.