Europe has a Mission: a journey towards European resilience has begun

18. October 16:00 - 17:15

February 2021: the European Commission launches an updated strategy on adaptation to climate change and sets very ambitious expectations: Europe will become the first resilient continent in the world by 2050. Within this document, a new programme to accelerate climate action is announced: the EU Policy Support Facility under the Covenant of Mayors – Europe, a two-years initiative to test approaches and measures for advancing resilience at the local and regional scale.

March 2022: the EU Mission on Adaptation is set. Building on the experience of the EU Policy Support Facility, this programme aims to accelerate resilience in 150 regions by 2030. The Mission includes a Community of Practice, a unified platform and several projects that will support the development of transformational pathways for a more resilient continent. Among the very first test-bed projects, REGILIENCE develops, compiles, shares and promotes tools and scientific knowledge to support European regions in identifying and addressing their climate-related risks. On the other hand, among the last generation of projects, Pathways2Resilience intends to advance a transformative and innovative approach to strengthen climate resilience in 100 regions.

This session brings together representatives from regions and cities as well as from the Mission Secretariat at the European Commission, experts and practitioners involved in the EU Policy Support Facility and in the Mission Adaptation. By raising provocative questions on the last two years of action and the current challenges and ambitions for resilience, it aims to shed a light on the most relevant developments and opportunities, lessons learned and open questions to accelerate the just and resilient transition in Europe. In particular, the session will focus on implementation of adaptation action, discussing multilevel coordination (EU-regional-local) and funding management.

This session is part of the The governance of the new crises: managing and funding resilience in Europe stream.


Sophie Berger

Policy Officer, European Commission (DG RTD)

Sophie Berger, Policy Officer, European Commission (DG RTD)

Sophie Berger works as a policy officer for the European Commission, at the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. She is part of the secretariat of the "mission on adaptation to climate change", a joint team between DG Climate Action and DG Research & Innovation, that steers and implement the activities of mission for the European Commission.  Sophie also holds a PhD in climate science and previously worked for the first working group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Javier Marzo

Environmental Technician working on Climate Change Adaptation, GVA (Valencia Regional Government)

Javier Marzo, Environmental Technician working on Climate Change Adaptation, GVA (Valencia Regional Government)

Javier is a biologist with a Master in Environmental Management and Sustainable Development. He has a lot of experience managing and participating in R&D projects both at national and international level focused mainly on circular economy and agrifood. During last year he is working for the Valencia Regional Government in Climate Change Adaptation contributing to the implementation of the Valencian law of Climate Change that was approved at the end of 2022.

Silvia Hasslinger Olsson

Co-founder of the Nordic Urban Resilience Institute

Silvia Haslinger Olsson, co-founder of Nordic Urban Resilience Institute

Silvia has several years of experience in the field of urban resilience and is co-founder of Nordic Urban Resilience Institute. Since 2013 she has been working as COO for Resilient Regions Association, a neutral and independent arena for collaboration on urban resilience, addressing societal challenges involving politicians, the industry, the private and public sector as well as the academia. Previously she has been working with cluster strategy and innovation at the Regional Development Agency is Southern Sweden.

Thomas Koetz

Senior Advisor Climate Neutral and Resilient Regions, EIT Climate-KIC

Thomas Koetz, Senior Advisor Climate Neutral and Resilient Regions, EIT Climate-KIC

Thomas Koetz is Senior Advisor for Climate Neutral and Resilient Regions at EIT Climate-KIC responsible for orchestrating the application of a systems innovation approach for transformations towards climate neutrality and resilience at regional scale, demonstrating that fast and system level change is possible. Thomas has worked for over a decade as Programme and Policy Officer in environmental public policy for the European Commission and the United Nations, having been centrally involved in establishing the EU Mission on Adaptation to Climate Change and the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which he served as Head of Work Programme. He has worked on issues such as climate change, biodiversity, sustainable development, rural development, and multilevel governance, and has a PhD and background in science-policy interfaces, ecological economics, landscape ecology and environmental management.


Luca Arbau

Officer, Urban Resilience and Climate Adaptation, ICLEI Europe


Luca Arbau is an architect and a sustainable urban development practitioner. He works as an Officer at ICLEI Europe in the field of urban resilience and climate adaptation. He leads the EU Policy Support Facility initiatives under the Covenant of Mayors - Europe and is involved in the conceptualisation and implementation of several projects under the EU Mission on Adaptation. He holds a master's degree in international cooperation and emergency architecture from the International University of Catalonia (Barcelona) and a master's degree in architecture from the University of Ferrara (Italy). Luca is a native Italian speaker, is fluent in English and Spanish, and has good knowledge of Catalan.

Alison De Luise

Manager, Adaptation, Climate Alliance

Alison De Luise, Manager, Adaptation, Climate Alliance

Alison De Luise is an urban climate change adaptation specialist, applying policy, partnership & program management experience towards support urban climate resiliency. As Manager, Adaptation to Climate Change at Climate Alliance, she leads different parts of the Covenant of Mayors for Europe's Policy Support Facility, building adaptation capacity across European cities. She is also the Urban Task Manager of the European Environment Agency’s Topic Center on Climate Change Adaptation. She is also a task lead on the EU Community Pact initiative. Prior, Alison was a lead facilitator supporting peer learning and networking of North American Green Infrastructure Officials. She also worked with US communities to develop integrated solutions to complex urban water resource challenges. This all builds on prior experiences working at an international food security organisation, for the Australian development cooperation programme and in grass-roots community development in Southern Africa.