Press Release: neZEH High Level Event at the European Parliament on the 17th of March 2016


 High Level Event at the European Parliament - 17th March 2016 in Brussels

The neZEH High Level Event "Nearly Zero Energy Hotels for Achieving Low Carbon Growth in Europe" hosted by Members of the European Parliament Mrs. Maria Grapini (S&D Romania) took place at the European Parliament in Brussels on the 17th of March 2016, with great success.

The event aimed at steering the attention of regional, national and European policy makers to commit to nearly zero energy growth in the tourism sector, to reduce legislative barriers and to introduce supportive measures. More than 65 participants took part of the event, representing policy makers, as well as private sector representatives from the tourism and energy efficiency arena.

The distinguished panellists, composed of Members of the European Parliament from Romania, Hungary and Croatia, the European Commission Directorate General for ENER and GROWTH, the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enerprises (EASME), the Region of Île-de-France in France, the Croatian Ministry of Tourism, UNWTO, the European Hotel Association HOTREC and NECSTouR, shared their reflections and proposed suggestions on how to scale up neZEH results and move from 16 pilot projects to a critical mass of hotels achieving neZEH status in Europe.

A fruitful discussion was held around the working version of the neZEH project's Position Paper aimed at addressing the tourism - energy - buildings nexus for EU Policy makers, where recommendations were proposed to facilitate the successful scaling up of neZEH refurbishment within Europe's accommodation sector. Recommendations consisted of coordinated dialogue between competent authorities for energy and buildings both at EU and national/regional levels, information provision, technical and financial support for SME hotels, specific nZEB national targets for hotel buildings, advocacy campaings and staff training.

"Horizon 2020 programme allocates €6 billion to energy efficiency projects, from which 15% aims at market uptake measures to remove market and governance barriers by addressing financing, regulations and improving skills" Vincent Berruto, Head of Unit of H2020 energy, EASME, European Commision

"Considering sustainability is instrinsically related to competitiveness, our efforts are devoted not only to maintain Europe as the world's leading tourism destination but also to become the greenest destination in the world" Carlo Corazza, Head of Unit of Tourism, Creative and Emerging Industries-DG GROWTH, European Commission

The event welcomed a presentation from the Balvanyos Resort - Grant Hotel in Romania, one of the neZEH pilot hotels, as a real neZEH example, about the reasons and benefits of moving towards nearly zero energy performance and giving examples of both implemented and planned measures. 

MEP Mrs. Grapini, has supported the neZEH initiative since its beginning and has proposed neZEH as an example of low carbon measures for the European tourism within the Opinion of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection for the Committee on Transport and Tourism on new challenges and concepts for the promotion of toursm in Europe (2014/2241(INI) for which she is Rapporteur.