As part of our Turning commitment to practice programme in 2024 we continue to meet citizens and local stakeholders in the four macro-regions. Mission 2 took place on 2-3 May in Lyon for the Alpine Region, organised in partnership with La Maison des Européens Lyon.

As the local Europe Day activities we started on 2 May with an open air public event where we tried to identify the perfect candidate for the upcoming 2024 EP elections using our My ideal EP candidate installation. Some of the qualifications mentioned are reliable, honest, cooperative, expert, balaned and creative. We are still looking for this person…

We also celebrated the introduction of the euro and 2004 enlargement with a podium discussion.

Next day, on 3 May 2024, we focused on the EU macro-regional strategies, especially on the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP). We had rich discussions in the three working groups addressing

Group 1: Youth as a driving force for macro-regional cooperation
Group 2: The secret ingredients of a workable network
Group 3: The future we want: EU macro-regions in 2030

Based on our intensive work here are four recommendations:

  1. Emphasising youth participation is very trendy these days. What should be avoided is that it becomes an empty slogan instead of a meaningful collaboration. This requires serious efforts from all parties involved to turn theory into practice.
  2. The EU macro-regional strategies are still a „well kept secret”. The best way to make the notion known to citizens, especially young people, is through concrete projects/actions/mobilities reflecting on their daily realities.
  3. The establishment of the MRS civil society network would be a major step forward in CSO cooperation. This should be the result of an organic, bottom-up process involving as many local stakeholders as possible. There are no secret ingredient, but systematic and committed daily work is essential.
  4. Networking among CSOs and local citizens’ communities is indispensable for the future of EU macro-regional strategies. No successful implementation of the macro-regional strategies is possible without their involvement resulting in an increased ownership feeling.

We thank all the active participants of the Lyon meeting for their imput and La Maison des Européens Lyon and its dedicated staff for their openness and commitment. We continue our work with Mission 3 in Zagreb for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) to be held on 14 May 2024.