Port cities are crucial in the search for innovative solutions to achieve a more humane economic model. This is why the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament is going to Antwerp on Thursday, and will engage in a discussion with citizens, academics, students, NGOs, social partners, national and regional members of parliament to provide input and get feedback on our policy objectives on sustainability.

S&D vice-president on sustainability, Kathleen Van Brempt MEP, said:

“In 2015 governments across the world committed to pursuing 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, with the aim of eradicating poverty, fighting inequality and injustice, and fixing climate change. How can those goals be better achieved? This is what we will debate this week: what the contribution of cities could be if we use all their potential.

“Local governments can provide pathways out of the multiple deadlocks the EU is facing. We will focus on port cities. The EU depends on its seaports for 74% of its imported and exported goods. Moreover, ports employ over 3 million people. However, this expansion of economic activity raises important questions about balancing the impacts of ports on the living quality for the inhabitants, and about the co-operation between mayors and with the EU to find creative responses.”

Among the participants will be S&D MEP Agnes Jongerius; the mayor of Ghent, Daniël Termont; and the mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb. There will be two keynote speakers: Eric Corijn, professor of social and cultural geography at the Free University of Brussels and director of Cosmopolis City, and Jan Rotmans, professor of transitions and transition management, at Erasmus University in Rotterdam.

This Together event will take place in the Grand Café Horta, Hopland 2, 2000 Antwerp from 18:00 to 20:15. You can find the full programme and list of speakers here.

Read the Antwerp Statement on how cities can lead Europe towards a sustainable future.

Join the debate!

MEPs involved

Head of delegation

S&D press contact

President's spokesperson

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