CEPLI Conference in Ourense

 Visit the CEPLI webiste to watch the full conference :https://cepli.eu/ourense-political-conference-7th-march-2023 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WvgMNnl-ug

European Confederation of Local Intermediate Authorities – CEPLI 

Political Conference




Ourense, Spain, March 7th 2023

Centro cultural de Ourense

(Hybrid format: onsite and online web streaming)

10h00 – 14h30

Languages: DE, EN, ES, FR, IT, PL, RO

Moderator: Nicolas REYNES, Partenalia




Welcome Breakfast (09h30)

Opening (10h00-10h10):

·        Jose Manuel BALTAR BLANCO, President Diputacion de Ourense, President of Partenalia Network, Spain


·        André VIOLA, President of CEPLI, Assembly of French Departments, Aude Provincial Council, France


·        Carlos Daniel CASARES, Secretary General, Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP), Spain


1.1     Keynote messages (10h10-10h45): Is Territorial Resilience an Emerging Approach for Spatial Planning?

Ø  Territorial vulnerability and the impact of natural disasters in figures



Ø  A spatial approach: build a map of territorial vulnerabilities. 



Q/A (5 min)

Panel I (10h45-12h30): European civil protection and actions of local intermediate authorities

Ø  European approach 

Capitaine Laurent ALFONSO, Senior Advisor for Civil Protection, Social and Civil Affairs Division, Union for the Mediterranean 


Laura Indriliunaite – Policy officer B2 unit, DG ECHO, European Commission (online)


Ø  A territorial perspective 


Christophe ROuillon, CoR’s member, on behalf of the President of the European Committee of Regions


CEPLI members

Luca MENESINI, President of Lucca Provincial Council, Union of Italian Provinces – UPI representative, Italy


Cătălin Dumitru TOMA, President of Vrancea Provincial Council, National Union County Councils of Romania – UNCJR representative, Romania


Tanguy STUCKENS, President of Association of Walloons Provinces – APW, President of Brabant Walloon Province, Belgium (online)


Knut Bühler, Vice-President of Karlsruhe Province, Deutscher Landkreistag – DLT representative, Germany (online)


Coffee Break (12h35)


Panel II (12h45-14h30): Risk culture and communication with the population, awareness, training, participation

Ø  European new approaches

Frank Roselieb, Managing director and head of research of the Crisisnavigator – Institute for Crisis Research, “spin-off” of the University of Kiel, Germany (online)


Dr. Raed ARAFAT, Secretary of State, Head of the Department for Emergency Situations – Ministry of Internal Affairs, Romania (online)


Anca RUSU, International Risk Governance Center (IRGC), Switzerland (online)


Gérard PELTRE, President of the International Association “Rurality – Environment – Development (R.E.D.)”, President of the “European Countryside Movement” 


Q/A (5 min)

Ø  A territorial perspective 

André VIOLA, President of CEPLI, Assembly of French Departments, Aude Provincial Council, France 


Jose Manuel BALTAR BLANCO, President Diputacion de Ourense, President of Partenalia, Spain 


Pilar Díaz, Deputy to the Area of Presidency and Delegate for International Relations of the Barcelona Provincial Council, and Mayor of Esplugues de Llobregat, Spain


Wojciech Pałka, Starost of Kraków County, Association of Polish Counties – ZPP Representative, Poland


Debate (15 min)




This political conference, held in a hybrid format and with simultaneous interpretation in seven languages -Spanish, French, Italian, Polish, Romanian, English and German-, was attended by some twenty political representatives and experts from countries such as France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Poland or Turkey.


“The provinces exist and the provincial interests exist”, recalled president Baltar in his speech, who highlighted the importance of participating in this type of meeting to “contribute and add initiatives, within a roadmap marked by legal collaboration, technical and economic” with the municipalities and social agents of the territory: “Our ability to respond to any situation means that we are always part of the solution and never of the problem, something that is in the very essence of the councils”.


Carlos Daniel Casares, Secretary General of the Spanish Federation of Provinces and Municipalities announced in his speech that he will propose to the governing board of the FEMP the reincorporation into the CEPLI as it had participated in its foundation back in 2008. The reincorporation is since then effective. 



Reading of the “Political Declaration of Ourense”


To close the Political Conference, the president of CEPLI, André Viola, read the “Political Declaration of Ourense”, approved at the General Assembly held the day before at the Marcos Valcárcel Cultural Center.


This statement claims that ” local intermediate governments are in the front line to face the impact of disasters caused by natural or human-made hazards. And they have demonstrated a reaction capacity that allows them to identify concrete solutions through the implementation of policies policies aimed at anticipating and reducing disaster risks”. Disaster risk reduction, the statement notes, “offers a unique opportunity to build cohesion. With their experience and resources, local governments support municipalities in their efforts to reduce risk and build resilience.”


CEPLI, as the largest European confederation of intermediate local authorities in the European Union, considers that “sustainable development and disaster risk reduction must be conceived collectively in a logic of multilevel governance”.


In this sense, the “Political Declaration of Ourense” states that the Intermediate Local Authorities are “prepared to assume strong leadership to coordinate and facilitate effective risk management”. In compliance with the principle of subsidiarity, “their proximity to citizens and their territorial focus make them essential in anticipation, preparation, warning and reaction to catastrophes, as well as in the reconstruction of the territory”. As part of their daily work with municipalities and local communities, PLIs “develop “local strategies and action plans to protect and maintain infrastructure that ensures continuity of services and increases resilience,” as well as facilitating planning of key investments. to improve resilience.


On this basis, CEPLI calls on the Member States of the European Union and the European institutions to work around several key points, which can be summarized as advancing in the recognition of Intermediate Local Authorities (PLI) as fundamental actors both in front of natural disasters as in the reinforcement of territorial resilience and in the promotion of the public-private alliance to create employment; and claiming its capacity to improve the absorption of community cohesion funds dedicated to resilience. For this reason, the “Political Declaration of Ourense” culminates, the Intermediate Local Authorities “must be involved from the beginning of the process of definition, implementation and monitoring of future community cohesion funds”.