The Annual Conference on European Policy 2021 of the Heinrich Böll Foundation

Sustainably recovering from the pandemic

The European Green Deal – Think Locally

The impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on Europe’s economy, health systems and democracy is enormous. In terms of European policy it will now be important to shape the economic construction in Europe in a socially and ecologically sustainable way. The policy fields of climate, energy, environment, digitalisation as well as economy, labour and social affairs must be thought together in the European Green Deal and shaped in such a way that social cohesion in Europe is strengthened. Germany, as the most populous and economically strongest country, will have to play a central role in this tour de force. The EU’s ability to act will continue to depend largely on the German government’s will to act. The Annual Conference on European Policy 2021 of the Heinrich Böll Foundation will therefore focus on the question of which European policy priorities the new German government should and must set after the federal elections in autumn 2021.

At this year’s annual conference on European policy, which will also take place online, European representatives from politics, science, political consultancy and civil society will analyse and discuss the current crisis and appropriate strategies to overcome it.

The focus is on the local dimension of the European Green Deal.

In many places, municipalities are seen as the new bearers of hope. Initiatives at the local level are already making a difference in many areas and are seen as potential drivers of the socio-ecological transformation, be it in the energy transition, sustainable mobility and infrastructure or in public space. We want to let some initiatives have their say and present good examples from practice that show the way forward and provide inspiration for imitation.


On 10/5, Prof Koundouri participated in a discussion on the European Green Deal and socio-ecological Transformation  at the online conference “Sustainably recovering from the pandemic,The European Green Deal – Think Locally” organized by the Heinrich Böll Foundation – Headquarter Berlin.

Panel 1: Debate

European Green Deal and socio-ecological Transformation

  • How should thestrategies put forward by the European Commission as part of the European Green Deal be assessed? What contradictions, conflicts and risks are discernible?
  • How should we assess the Recovery Fund adopted in 2020, which provides part loans and part grants? What lessons can we learn from this?
  • How can the member states live up to their responsibility in the implementation of the European Green Deal? What are the challenges, risks and opportunities on the ground?
  • What expectations do our European neighbours have towards the new German government in terms of its European policy?


  • Rasmus Andresen,MEP, EFA/Greens, Brussels
  • Phoebe Koundouri,Professor, University of Economics and Business, Athens
  • Neil Makaroff,European Policy Officer, Reseau Action Climat, Paris
  • Bozena Ryszawska, Professor, Wroclaw University of Economics and Business, Wroclaw

Chair: Eva van de Rakt,Director, Heinrich Böll Foundation, Brussels


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