24th European Conference: Local governments as agents of peace, Barcelona

Publish date: Friday, 20 May 2022

Tuesday 10 May 2022, 9.30 am to 13.00 pm

Hybrid format in Barcelona at the Palau Robert (Sala Cotxeres)


The 24th European Conference that will be held this year is especially important, providing a space for opinion sharing and debate around two topical and significant events with an impact at the local level: firstly, the European Year of Youth and, secondly, the outbreak of war in Ukraine.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in her state of the Union speech in 2021, announced that 2022 should be a year dedicated to youth, in recognition of the impact they had suffered during the pandemic and their key role in building a better future: one that is greener, more inclusive and digital. Meanwhile, the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation on 24 February of this year, which sparked a war with unpredictable consequences, has altered the geopolitical landscape with a direct impact on European countries.

This conference therefore aims to offer an initial overview of the position of European local governments in the face of escalating tensions in Europe and the refugee crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, highlighting the commitment of local governments to local democracy and city diplomacy, based on the principles of peace. At the same time, the conference would like to address how this conflict challenges local government’s ability to act, at their level, and underline the meaning and relevance of international cooperation. In addition, echoing the significance of the European Year of Youth, the conference aims to highlight the positive contribution that young people can make to conflict prevention and resolution, as well as their role as key agents for building egalitarian, cohesive and inclusive societies.

This conference is organised by Barcelona Provincial Council, in collaboration with the Representation of the European Commission in Barcelona and the European Parliament Office in Barcelona.

Conference agenda

9.30 am

Opening session

  • Pilar Díaz, Deputy Councillor of the Department of the Presidency and Delegate for International Relations of Barcelona Provincial Council and Mayor of Esplugues de Llobregat
  • Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, Mayor of Gdansk, Chairwoman of the European Committee of the Regions Working Group on Ukraine

10.15 am

1st Roundtable: Future generations as builders of peace

Moderator: Lara Malvesí, journalist of the EFE Agency, former correspondent in Brussels, and member of the Association of European Journalists of Catalonia (APEC)

  • Laia Cuscó Pallarés, Councillor for Culture, Catalan Language Promotion, Youth and Cooperation and Solidarity, Caldes de Montbui City Council
  • Piera D'Arrigo, Programme Assistant for Youth Policy and Programmes in DG EAC
  • Romy Karier, member of Clervaux municipal council (Luxemburg) and member of the Commission for Social Policy, Education, Employment, Research and Culture of the European Committee of the Regions
  • Julia Rosanna Sánchez-Valverde, President of the Catalan National Youth Council (CNJC)




2nd Roundtable: European local governments and the military aggression against Ukraine: beyond the humanitarian emergency

Moderator: Tica Font, member of the Delas Centre for Peace Studies

  • Iryna Yarmolenko, Councillor of the City of Bucha (Ukraine), member of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) Policy Committee and a member of the CEMR Standing Committee for Gender Equality, as a representative of the Association of Ukrainian Cities
  • Alba Barnusell, Mayor of Granollers and Deputy Councillor for Gender Equality at Barcelona Provincial Government
  • Joanna Midgley, Councillor of Manchester City Council
  • Marc Aguilà, Local elected Councillor for Planning, Quality and Evaluation of Public Policies and European Projects of Sant Boi de Llobregat



  • Manuel Szapiro, Head of the Regional Representation of the European Committee in Barcelona
  • Javier Silva Pérez, Deputy Councillor for Youth at Barcelona Provincial Council and Mayor of Polinyà

24th European Conference: Local governments as agents of peace, Barcelona

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