25 September 2020

Efforts of two organisations to protect refugees and overcome COVID recognised by Transformative Action Award

CEAR - Spanish Commission for Refugees, Spain, and Groupe One & Urbike, Belgium were honoured today with special mentions by the jury of the 2020 Transformative Action Award.

The award recognises “Transformative Actions” that make use of the 15 pathways outlined in the Basque Declaration to achieve the socio-cultural, socio-economic and technological transformation needed to forge a more sustainable society. They highlight the critical role that cities play in reaching global goals such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the Paris Climate Agreement.

CEAR - Spanish Commission for Refugees received a special mention for their work on supporting the integration of refugees in Madrid (Spain) through food and cultural activities. Through the programme, seven culinary workshops were held, and 50 refugees found employment.

"CEAR - Spanish Commission for Refugees' Transformative Action reconfirms that on the local level people are ready to find humane, integrative and sustainable solutions in response to the refugee and migration crisis that divides the EU. Their action creates real local value and impact, reflecting that our responsibility does not end at national borders'' said Wolfgang Teubner, Jury Member and Regional Director, ICLEI Europe.

Groupe One & Urbike also received special mention for their Transformative Action, which consists of a digital platform that small- and medium-sized businesses can use to sell their products, as well as a shared logistics service. The platform and shared logistics service operates in Brussels (Belgium) and has allowed small- and medium-sized businesses to sell their products online, overcoming the obstacles caused by COVID-19 restrictions.

Increasing shares of internet shopping can endanger local shops and destroy lively inner cities. This inspiring Transformative Action seeks to address this very issue. Through creating a digital platform and logistics service which small and medium sized businesses can use, Groupe One & Urbike have helped to strengthen the local economy” said Teubner.

The special mentions came in advance of the award ceremony, which will take place on 1 October, during Mannheim2020: the 9th European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns, where the winner will be revealed and will receive €10,000 to help kick-start an additional Transformative Action in their city.

The shortlisted candidates for this year’s award are: Alsómocsolád (Hungary), Katowice (Poland), and Loures (Portugal).

The award is organised by ICLEI Europe, the Basque Country, and the City of Aalborg (Denmark) and supported by the European Committee of the Regions, and the European Investment Bank.

For more information on the award and finalists, please click here.