European Commission - Press release
OPEN DAYS 2011 – European Week of Regions and Cities (10-13 October): Discussing the future of EU cohesion policy
Brussels, 07 October 2011 - The ninth edition of the European Week of Regions and Cities, OPEN DAYS 2011, will begin in Brussels on 10 October, in the presence of European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Committee of the Regions President Mercedes Bresso and European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn. Co-organised by the Commission and the Committee of the Regions, the event brings together over 6000 regional and local partners from over 200 EU regions, and from eight non-EU countries. The event is the first chance to discuss the Commission's proposals on a new approach to EU cohesion policy (IP/11/1159).
Regional Policy Commissioner, Johannes Hahn commented: "OPEN DAYS 2011 offers a golden opportunity for our regional partners to join in on the debate on the future of cohesion policy which is now in full swing. The Commission has just presented a major overhaul of the policy and laid the foundations for an improved impact of EU investments. We now count on the active support of regions and cities to come forward with concrete translations of EU goals for growth and jobs into smart investment and projects."
Committee of the Regions' President Mercedes Bresso added: "This year’s OPEN DAYS could not be more timely, the first opportunity to discuss the legislative package on the future regional policy. In these times of crisis, we have to ensure that every Euro spent at EU level delivers real impact on the ground and strengthens the citizens' feeling of solidarity. We will analyse the Commission proposals carefully in this respect and see where they could be further improved in the interest of Europe's regions and cities."
Under the heading "Investing in Europe’s future: Regions and cities delivering smart, sustainable and inclusive growth", over 100 seminars will focus on three thematic strands:
Europe 2020: Seminars will showcase and discuss how cohesion policy and regions and cities contribute to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
Better delivery: Debates will focus on how to improve delivery of cohesion policy through, for example the 'Common Strategic Framework' covering all EU funds with territorial impact between 2014 and 2020.
Geography matters: Discussions will focus on integrated territorial strategies for regions, cities, cross-border and macro-regional areas. In addition, a selection of renowned academics from different European countries, specialised in urban and regional studies will hold 10 joint lectures and seminars at the OPEN DAYS University. A number of seminars with countries of the Eastern Partnership, and China, Latin America, Ukraine and Australia will facilitate global exchanges on regional policy.
The Meeting Place
Public-private partnerships will be centre stage during this year’s 'Meeting Place' hosted on the premises of the Committee of the Regions. 65 Public Private Partnership (PPP) case studies from 19 countries and varying sectors (information technology, transport, energy, urban development, telecommunications etc) will be presented in seminars and networking sessions involving experts from regional and local authorities, financial institutions and private companies.
Europe in your region/city
Alongside the Brussels seminars, 253 local events branded "Europe in my region/city" are planned between September and November in all 27 EU Member States, as well as Bosnia‑Herzegovina, Croatia, Iceland, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey.
All photos of the event will be available on Flickr
Other programme highlights
Highlights of the OPEN DAYS week include:
Opening Session, 10 October, 15:00-18:00, EP Hemicycle: Up to 1,100 regional and local representatives are expected to attend this session. Following welcome addresses by Danuta Hübner, Chair of the European Parliament's REGI Committee, Johannes Hahn, and Mercedes Bresso, keynote speeches will be given by Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Minister for Regional Development, Poland. The second part will begin with a presentation of the proposed regulations for EU cohesion policy 2014-2020 by Johannes Hahn followed by a debate with the floor on the three key themes of the OPEN DAYS
Meeting of the REGI and COTER Commissions, 11 October, 9:00-10:45, Committee of the Regions: A public meeting of the two EP and CoR Commissions dealing with EU cohesion policy will discuss the legislative proposals and focus on the territorial dimension of cohesion policy post 2013.
Special Plenary, 13 October, 9:30-11:15, Charlemagne building: This session will focus on the role of funds under the new ‘Common Strategic Framework’ to link investment under cohesion policy, rural development and fisheries policy to Europe 2020. This session will bring together Commissioners Johannes Hahn, László Andor and Maria Damanaki.
Ton Van Lierop (+32 2 296 65 65)
Marie-Pierre Jouglain (+32 2 298 44 49)