Brussels, 11 July 2007
Book now for 'OPEN DAYS 2007 – European Week of Regions and Cities' in Brussels from 8 to 11 October to make sure of your place at the biggest-ever edition of this event, the theme of which is MAKING IT HAPPEN - Regions and Cities deliver Growth and Jobs. Registration is now open for the fifth annual OPEN DAYS, which will this year involve a record 212 regions and cities of which 36 cities or city regions, including 16 European capitals, from 33 countries. Organised by the EU Committee of the Regions and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Regional Policy, OPEN DAYS brings together EU decision-makers, national, local and regional politicians, policy experts and representatives of business, banking and civil society organisations. Up to 5,000 people are expected to take part in events including 150 seminars and workshops.
Commission President José Manuel Barroso said: "The week epitomises the Europe of results that we are building together. I am convinced that the regional and local authorities have a vital role to play in making Europe's citizens more aware of how the EU is relevant to them. We can offer them real results and solutions. That is why we have called this year's event MAKING IT HAPPEN: regions deliver growth and jobs. That says it all. I hope the event will be a great success."
Regional Policy Commissioner Danuta Hübner said: "As in previous years, OPEN DAYS 2007 will bring together EU, national, regional and local experts to discuss regional development issues, to come up with new ideas and to see if and how we can improve delivery. I'm looking forward to this inspiring opportunity to meet regional policy experts and practitioners to find out how we can deliver our aims of raising living standards throughout the EU's regions and cities."
Committee of the Regions' President Michel Delebarre, Mayor and MP for Dunkerque, France, said: "Since OPEN DAYS were introduced in 2003, they have become a unique platform in Europe for communication, discussion and networking among regions and players in the field of regional and cohesion policy. Let’s make it happen in regions that are not only more competitive but more supportive of each other, where we can create opportunities for action both for public authorities and the private sector."
The MAKING IT HAPPEN theme of this year’s OPEN DAYS reflects the launch of 450 new national, regional and cross-border development programmes and an investment of EUR 500 billion of public and private investment over the next seven years. The OPEN DAYS seminars are grouped around five themes:
In addition to the Brussels programme, local and regional authorities will hold about 100 local OPEN DAYS events in their own countries throughout October. The event will, for the first time, feature the international dimension of regional policy, with Ministers and regional representatives of regions from China, Russia and Brazil taking part, as well as experts from other non-EU countries and international bodies.
Following its successful launch in 2006, the Committee of the Regions will
once again host the Investors' Café, which brings together public
and private partners in seven thematic 'villages', covering transport, energy,
environment, knowledge society, health, research and innovation, and financial
engineering. As well as being a real café, it is the base for 50 linked
seminars and workshops and a TV studio.