Questionnaires for mayors will probably not activate the national RURENER club

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During formation of a Czech RURENER club we come out from mentality of municipality leaders - mayors and municipality representatives. At the beginning of the project the questionnaire for mayors seemed to be a chance how to find out their opinions of our item...

Our collection of questionnaires covers various parts of the Czech Republic - from origin Zlín region in eastern Moravia to final cooperating Nymbursko region located close to the Prague, as well as from some municipalities interested in sustainable energy.

The most dominant common sign of all respondents is an accent on the absence of financial means and needed financial assistance both of EU and national government. Everyone who did not sign the CoM miss the information about it. No one knew it before the questionnaire. Another thing is weak personal and technical background for small municipalities in the sense of SEAP agenda. Almost everyone agrees that biggest problem for them is energetic losses of buildings.

SEAP are needful for all (!) of them as well as their monitoring and European cooperation of rural municipalities. Surprisingly, almost everyone consider the role of NGOs concerning the RES and energy efficiency in small municipalities as a least important. Most of people can see a weak political will for RES and EE as a barrier in the Czech Republic. However, they do not know what more should do EU or CoM for rural municipalities.

The most frequent unanswered questions were "In your opinion, what further should be included in the Covenant of Mayors to respond more to the specific needs of small rural municipalities?" eventually "In your opinion, which three of the following activities would be the most effective ways of improving energy policy and its implementation in your municipality? (please select three options maximum)".

Interesting fact is that municipalities consider an organizing of Energy days as a challenge for themselves even if they do not intend to sign the CoM. On the other hand nobody is interested in European conferences of CoM signatories... (People apprehend them as "a babble and nothing useful" for rural communities.)

Although we got summary of interesting findings, which could be valuable for European authorities (of CoM, RURENER, EC), they were predictable and can be used by formation of RURENER club only partly. This initiative was utterly unknown at the start of our project. Perhaps we can only perceive more clearly the order of priorities when planning work of the club. It would be summarized in lapidary passwords: looking for ways to raise money, to strengthen the capacity of municipalities and to focus on energy efficiency of buildings ... and additionally: information about EU structures and their events could be useful, but only if they help towards meeting these priorities!