This brief describes the process of creating an action plan for the transformation of the coal region of Upper Nitra, Slovakia, which included the involvement of local citizens, various levels of government, and the European Commission.
The local government invited citizens and community stakeholders to contribute to the action plan through approximately fifteen meetings. The Upper Nitra region became a pilot in the European Commission’s initiative for coal regions in transition, created to facilitate the development of projects and long-term strategies in these regions. Through their involvement, the European Commission sought to support the development of the action plan.
The brief reflects on how the process of local engagement could have been improved and offers recommendations for how to enhance local engagement throughout all stages of implementation. It urges the government to improve communication with the general public, increase civil society involvement, and communicate transparently about layoffs of mine workers.