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5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Rue du Poinçon 15
Brussels, 1000 Belgium

Join us in Brussels to discuss the transition to renewable energy and a sustainable economy on a local and international level!


This conference is part of the Green European Foundation Energy Democracy transnational project, which aims to explore the potential of an energy transition for Europe and how to shape this process in a democratic, participatory way. 

Europe has to change its energy system into a fully renewable one to transition to a sustainable economy and to establish a real climate policy. This is a major challenge for every Member State of the European Union, but will only succeed if the states work together. 

European citizens are already playing an active role, together with governments at different levels, as they are organising themselves in national energy cooperatives and also the European Federation REScoop. 

Studies show that by 2050, around 45% of all EU households could be producing their own renewable energy, more than a third could come through renewable energy cooperatives. This constitutes a huge opportunity for regional economic development, as locally-owned renewable energy projects deliver eight times the value of projects that are owned by private companies not from the area. However, the reality in the different Member States is extremely diverse. While the contribution of citizens’ Energy co-ops and local communities is well recognized in Western Europe, the situation in Eastern Europe is quite the opposite. 

See also the publication that was produced for this project: Community Energy in UK. 

About the event 

Our energy system is outdated in many ways: fossil fuel based and thus unsustainable, technocratic, and dominated by a few big market players. But over the last few decades, citizens have been developing an alternative system that is renewable, decentralised and democratic.

The development of renewable energy cooperatives demonstrates what citizens are capable of, especially when they are supported by a partner state, one that develops a stimulating legal framework and offers smart incentives.

How can we strengthen this transition to an energy system of the future? This conference will bring together contributors from GEF partners, energy cooperatives and energy sectors to discuss renewable energy potential on both a European and local level.  


  • Dirk Holemans, coordinator Oikos Think Tank
  • Dirk Vansintjan, President REScoop.eu
  • Elise Steyaert, from local climate cooperation Klimaan and VEB (Vlaams Energie Bedrijf)  
  • Claire Roumet, Director Energy Cities 
  • Johan Daenen, Member of Flemish Parliament 
  • Bob d’Haeseller, Green Party in Eeklo (BE)
  • Anne Chapman, Director Green House Think Tank (UK)
  • Aurélie MaréchalDirector Green European Foundation


17:00 – Welcome by Aurélie Maréchal, Director of Green European Foundation
17:10 – Stage setting by Dirk Holemans, coordinator at Oikos think tank
17:30 – Local and citizen iniatatives with Elise Steyaert (Klimaan), Dirk Vansintjan (REScoop), Bob d’Haeseleer (Groen Eeklo)
18:30 – Q&A
19:00 – Coffee break and snacks
19:30 – Role of governments with Claire Roumet (Energy Cities), Johan Daenen (Member of Flemish Parliament), Anne Chapman (Green House Think Tank)
20:30 – Q&A

Tickets for the event can be purchased from the Oikos website here. 

Rue du Poinçon 15
Brussels, 1000 Belgium

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