Solution: Solidarité & Inclusion – first debate about the civic monitoring of the project “Restauration du Mur à pêches de Montreuil”


ORGANIZATION: Solution : Solidarité & Inclusion

DATE OF THE DEBATE: 28/10/2021





On the 28th of October 2021, Solution organized the first debate of the Civic Monitoring for the Future of Europe project in a social center in the 3rd district of Paris. The group of participants was composed of seniors (both men and women) who usually participates in the social center’s activities.

Patrizia Papitto and Anaïs Fernandez facilitated the debate. First of all, Patrizia presented the Civic Monitoring project. She explained that this initiative is funded by the Europe for Citizens project and that it promotes the citizens’ engagement in the debate on ecology and climate change issues and focuses on the importance to monitor environmental projects funded by the European Commission.

We introduced to the participants a project that we think it will be very interesting to monitor: Restauration du Mur à pêches de Montreuil, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). This initiative was implemented from 2018 to 2020 in a city near Paris called Montreuil and aimed at restoring the Peach Walls site. This is the last witness to the fruit growing that made the town famous under the Ancien Régime. The walls are the result of a rare know-how in construction and arboriculture to acclimatise peaches to the Ile-de-France climate, and are a unique example of the use of local topographical and geological resources, taking advantage of their thermal qualities.

Then, with the participants we reflected on the damages done by the privatization of properties and the urbanization that reduced the green spaces to a state of wasteland. In order to make the debate more dynamic, we proposed to the participants to draw or write sentences that would represent their ideal green space in the neighborhood where they live. Then, we looked at each drawing and discussed why the protection and enhancement of biodiversity in cities is important and what can European funds do to preserve urban nature and green infrastructures.

One of the participants said that sometimes we really feel far from the EU, so it is important to explore what the European Commission can practically do for citizens. She added that, for instance, in her neighborhood in the 18th district of Paris, there are some wastelands that could definitely be restored and transformed in green spaces for residents.

After the debate, the facilitators explained that this project will be monitored through a methodology developed by the Monithon platform. Anaïs explained: « Cette méthodologie permet aux citoyens de s’emparer des problématiques environnementales et de se rendre compte de la manière dont sont gérées ces problématiques » (This methodology allows citizens to take ownership of environmental issues and to see how these issues are managed in projects funded by the European Commission).

We also informed the participants that more debates will be organized and that we will inform them about it.