In Ourense, Partenalia worked on cooperation strategies between Local Intermediate Authorities in the fields of transparency – open government and sustainability. The political meeting, with strong emphasis on environmental protection, brought together the institutional representatives of members and experts in the field of environment and transparency, such as Robert F. Kennedy, president of the WaterKeeper Alliance; David Levine, president of the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC); And Juan Manuel Roa, president of Public Transparency.
The President of the Diputación de Ourense, Mr. José Manuel Baltar Blanco, highlighted the importance of this meeting "to jointly work to develop political actions in network, and to place the provincial governments of Europe as a reference in transparency and citizen participation, and as an example of sustainable management ".
The President of Partenalia, Mr. Javier Moliner, informed that one of the main objectives of Partenalia is "to voice the concerns and needs of citizens, especially those who live in rural areas” and continued saying that “this organisation [Partenalia], made up of local governments, is best equipped to do so”.
Mr. Moliner stressed that Partenalia is an instrument which allows to stand up for the rights of the citizens of rural areas, "an alliance of governments of proximity which brings those concerns to the European institutions".
Mr. David Levine welcomed the collaboration agreement signed by Partenalia and the ASBC and underscored the importance of "designing programmes that raise awareness and inform society and public officials of the benefits of a more sustainable economy and of policies and practices that contribute towards this goal." Mr. Levine sees the creation of a European Sustainable Business Council as a promising initiative gathering administrations and companies around the idea of being actively involved in the promotion of a greener economy, notably via citizen projects aimed at increasing "our environmental health".
On the other hand, the president of Public Transparency, Mr. Juan Manuel Roa, regards the role of local governments as “ fundamental for sustainable development" and emphasised the fact that the paradigm of "open government" is becoming the norm around the world. In this sense, he presented the system that the Ourense Provincial Council will implement and congratulated the entity for being the first public institution in Spain to have a social transparency audit, a method that assesses the transparency of institutional management.
"The Ourense 2020 Declaration"
During the political encounter, the "Ourense 2020 Declaration", which includes the main conclusions of the political debate which took place during the event and contains ten commitments on environmental policies and transparency to be implemented over the next three years, was unanimously approved.
The document was presented to the press by the president of the Ourense provincial council, Mr. Manuel Baltar, and the president of Partenalia, Mr. Javier Moliner, accompanied by the president of the American Sustainable Business Council, Mr. David Levine, and other institutional representatives.
In his speech, Mr. Moliner thanked the Ourense provincial council for taking the initiative of proposing this declaration, which was unanimously approved and "aspires to become a landmark framework for the members of Partenalia" to promote policies that bet on "sustainability, transparency and the fight against climate change”.