On 17-18 May in Rhodes island, Greece the EU Island 2022 forum was held featuring keynotes from Greek minister of Energy and Environment, Kostas Skrekas, Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, EU parliament member, Tonino Picula, the Rector of University of Aegean, Chrysi Vitsilaki and the Mayor of Rhodes, Antonis Kabourakis. A deliberative session on energy security and climate transition with the participation of students from the Aegean University and pupils from Rhodes high school concluded the morning agenda of the first day. In the afternoon, the forum attendants had the opportunity to visit the first GR-eco island, Halki to witness the island’s transition to clean energy and sustainable mobility.
On the second (Action) day three plenaries took place Act, Shape and Explore and 4 sessions (2 sessions in parallel). INSULAE was presented in the parallel session EXPLORE: Innovation in Horizon2020 projects joined by other island related H2020 projects VPP4ISLANDS, ISLANDER, REACT and IANOS. The session was moderated by Marina Montero, Technical Lead of the Clean Energy for EU islands secretariat and joined by an audience of 50 people. Ismini Moustafelou from partner DAFNI Network presented the progress of INSULAE in the 3 pilots focusing on the challenges faced in the first 3 years of the project, lessons learnt and implemented solutions to address those challenges. During the Q & A, the importance of establishing strong collaborations between similar H2020 projects as well as the need for engagement with the local citizens and communication of the projects benefits for the society were highlighted. INSULAE participates actively in BRIDGE working group Consumer and Citizen’s engagement supporting the knowledge exchange between EU projects and will bring the topic to the next BRIDGE meetings.
The forum was completed with a debate session What does RePowerEU mean for the islands? moderated by Alexis Chatzimpiros (Samsø Energy Academy) with Eero Ailio (DG Energy) , Søren Hermansen (Samsø Energy Academy) , Dr. Maria Kottari (School for Transnational Governance, EUI) and the director of INSULAE partner DAFNI Network, Kostas Komninos, discussing about the implications of the new package of the European Commission on the energy future of the EU islands.