Covenant of Mayors
  Covenant Coordinators & Supporters October 2011  
Governing in partnership: The "Abruzzo Model"
{{{Interview with Valter Catarra, President of the Province of Teramo.}}} Through extensive cooperation with the neighbouring provinces and Abruzzo Region, the Province of Teramo is successfully fulfilling its role of Territorial Coordinator.

Home to 296 000 inhabitants, the Province of Teramo lies in the Abruzzo region, situated in central Italy on the Adriatic Sea. The Province joined as Covenant Coordinator in September 2009, together with the other four provinces of the region.

All the 47 municipalities of the Teramo Province have signed up to the Covenant of Mayors initiative. The success of the Covenant there is mainly due to the cooperation efforts carried out with the Abruzzo region, which has developed a landmark strategy for the entire area.

In an exclusive interview with the Covenant of Mayors Office, President of the Province Valter Catarra provides some insight into the success factors of this territorial strategy.

In an exchange with your administration, the Covenant of Mayors Office learned that the Province will be benefiting from the IEE financing line for technical assistance – the so-called “Mobilising Local Energy Investment”, could you expand on this and tell us what are the objectives of the project?

The Abruzzo Region, its four provinces and 305 municipalities have developed a cooperation model through the Covenant that is setting an example to the rest of Europe. This approach was made possible thanks to the commitment of all levels of territorial government, starting with the Province of Teramo who was among the first to commit to the “20-20-20" Covenant of Mayors objectives. This is at the core of the so-called "Abruzzo Model", to which were allocated €35 million from the European Regional Development Fund.

Thanks to our contribution, enthusiasm and engagement, we have made considerable progress in creating this successful model. We started at the provincial level with organising a movement of local administrators committed to one of the most important challenges we are facing at the dawn of the third millennium: the fight against climate change, the reduction of GHG emissions in the atmosphere, the improvement of citizens’ quality of life and the promotion of a sustainable development model. This movement was later extended to include the entire regional territory.

To date, « 305 » construction sites related to Covenant investments are operating in the entire region. This has positive impacts on the level of local development and support to the local green economy.

In line with the Covenant multi-level governance dimension, the Province is cooperating extensively with the Region and neighbouring provinces. Could you explain why the regional strategy is presented as a model and what are the success factors of this approach?

Another important action , directly connected to the virtuous circle initiated by the Covenant of Mayors, is the Paride project. Recently presented by the Province of Teramo and 34 municipalities, Paride is a €800.000 technical assistance project launched in the framework of the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme. According to Agena, the Energy Agency of the Province of Teramo which supports the Province in the local development of the Covenant, Paride will mobilize investment worth €18 million for the improvements of 60.000 installations of public lighting. This will not include any costs for local authorities thanks to the direct involvement of ESCOs (Energy Service Companies).

The mobilisation of citizens is a key condition for a successful Covenant implementation. What has been the strategy of the province in that regard?

Conscious of the importance of raising citizens awareness and of the need to influence local behaviours and culture, the Province of Teramo provided its municipalities with an integrated communication campaign. Newsletters, letterheads, banners, flyers, brochures related to this campaign with a unique graphical identity were offered for free to local administrations.

The distinctive aspect of the initiative – which has been launched under the slogan « If you like your city, show your face in it » - is the direct involvement of citizens, who were asked to act as ambassadors for the promotion of clean energy by offering their image for the personification of posters, brochures and other information materials. Between 3-6 November, citizens were invited to show up in one of our four castings organised in different locations within the Province of Teramo. The best pictures will be published on the Facebook page of the Province. Moreover, in collaboration with the Faculty of Communication, a video has been produced to promote the local actions related to the Covenant.

Likewise, in each municipality, several events will be organised to explain the role citizens can play in these actions and what the local administration is doing. Additional events held in high schools and with the participation of local media, will involve young people through the « Covenant of Students », which will award the best report produced on the initiative.

More information can be found in the official Covenant of Mayors section of Province of Teramo’s website

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  The sole responsibility for the content of this newsletter lies with the Covenant of Mayors Office. It does not necessary reflect the opinion of the European Union. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein. The Covenant of Mayors was set up with financial support of the European Commission and consists of five associations of European local authorities: Energy Cities, Climate Alliance, Eurocities, CEMR, Fedarene, and ICLEI Europe.

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