The EU Delegation to the Russian Federation in the framework of the "EU-Russia Public Diplomacy" project, together with the Union of Russian Cities and the Don State Technical University will hold an international conference on “Diversification of the Economy of Monotowns on the Example of Coal Mining Regions” at the Don State Technical University in Rostov-on-Don on 21-22 February 2019. Ambassador of the European Union to Russia Markus Ederer will open the conference and will take part in the plenary session on modern trends and best practices of the development of monotowns in coal regions.
Coal has historically been one of the European economies’ main fuels. Today, it accounts for 16% of the gross domestic energy consumption in the EU, and 24% of the power generation mix. The role of coal is decreasing, as part of the ongoing transformation of the energy system. However, the potential negative impacts of the ongoing shrinkage of the coal sector on employment and the economy in regions hosting hard coal and lignite mining activities and coal-fired power plants are frequently overlooked. The European Commission's goal is to ensure that no regions are left behind in the shift to a sustainable future for Europe's industries and infrastructure.
The conference will focus on the problems of coal-dependent regions. How can their economies be diversified away from coal? How can they ensure sustainable economic development? How can mine closures be engineered in a way that mitigates the socio-economic impact on the affected population?
Prominent experts from the EU and Russia will share their expertise on those subjects: Carsten Drebenstedt, Professor at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany; Jean-Pierre Kucheida, President of the French Association of Mining Communities, former mayor of the city of Liévin, France; Leonid Shafirov, Head of the Commission for Regional Development and Local Self-Administration, Rostov-on-Don; Jan Bondaruk, Deputy Director for Environmental Engineering, Central Mining Institute, Poland, Tatiana Lanshina, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Modelling at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Moscow.
The "Public Diplomacy. EU and Russia“ project aims at facilitating dialogue between selected Russian and EU audiences. Its goal is to pave the way to a better understanding between societies in Russia and the EU on a number of bilateral and global issues, and to improve EU-Russia relations. Since 2017, the project has been offering different platforms for societal dialogue between the EU and Russia.