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Brussels, 20 September 2005

Durham to host European conference on eGovernment

“Evolving eGovernment in Europe’s Regions and Cities” is the theme of a conference to be held in the historic English city of Durham on Thursday, 22 September.

The event, organised by the EU Committee of the Regions and the region of North East England, will examine ways in which local and regional authorities can improve public services through use of information and communication technology. It will also highlight examples of best practice in eGovernment from the North East region and across Europe.

Speakers at the conference include Alex Watson, chair of the North East Assembly; Seamus Murray, President of the Commission for Education and Culture (EDUC) of the Committee of the Regions; and Vicente Alvarez Areces, President of the Government of the Principality of Asturias in Spain.
The conference, which takes place at Durham’s Gala Theatre, has the support of Wear Valley District Council, North East Assembly, ONE NorthEast, Derwentside District Council, Durham County Council, Northumberland County Council, Durham City Council and Durham Learning and Skills Council.

It will follow a morning meeting of the EDUC Commission at which members will discuss draft opinions on the following topics:

  • Proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Community 7th Research Framework Programme 2007-2013. Presented by: Lars Nordström (SE/ALDE), member of Västra Götaland Regional Council.
  • Proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a Community action for the European Capital of Culture event for the years 2007-2019. Presented by: Seamus Murray (IE/UEN-EA), member of Mid-East Regional Authority and Meath County Council, Ireland.
  • Draft opinion on “i2010 – A European Information Society for growth and employment”. Presented by: Fofi Gennimata (EL/PES), chair of the Prefecture of Athens/Piraeus.
  • Draft Opinion on “Addressing the concerns of young people in Europe – implementing the European Youth Pact and promoting active citizenship”. Presented by: Roberto Pella (IT/EPP), member of Cossato Council, Piemonte.

Venue and timings:

  • Meeting of CoR Commission for Education and Culture, Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham, 09:30-12.30
  • Evolving eGovernment in Europe’s Regions and Cities conference, Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham, 13:30-17.30.

Both events are open to the media.

EU Committee of the Regions

Created in 1994, the Brussels-based Committee of the Regions (CoR) is a consultative assembly which provides elected local and regional government representatives – e.g. city mayors, councillors and regional presidents – with a voice at the heart of the European Union. The European Commission and the Council of Ministers are obliged to consult the CoR’s 317 members on proposed EU laws across a wide range of policy areas, including employment, transport and the environment. The UK has 24 full members on the CoR and the same number of alternates. They include Michael Davey, Northumberland County Council, and Councillor Olive Brown, leader of Wear Valley District Council.

Key to political groups:

EPP: European People’s Party (Conservative); PES: Party of European Socialists; ALDE - Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe; UEN-EA: Union for Europe of the Nations - European Alliance.

For any further information, please contact:
Tel. +32 (0)2 282 22 70
Fax. +32 (0)2 282 20 85

Tel. +32 (0)2 282 20 99
Fax. +32 (0)2 282 20 85

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