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Brussels, 10 October 2011

Recipes for successful Regional Policy - EU and China, Japan, Brazil, Chile, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia share experiences

Investing in growth and jobs via the European structural funds is a policy which increasingly receives international acclaim, with China, Japan, Brazil, Chile, Russia, Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia showing interest in the functioning of EU regional policy. During the European Week of Regions and Cities (OPEN DAYS 2011), from 11 to 13 October (IP/11/1161) delegations from China, Japan, Brazil, Chile, Russia, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine will meet with Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn to share experiences and hear about the Commission's recently presented proposals for a sweeping change of cohesion policy for the period from 2014 until 2020. The OPEN DAYS week will provide an occasion for European regions and cities present in Brussels to deepen the dialogue engaged with these countries. The purpose is to share experience on how to reduce regional disparities and how to implement efficient regional investment policies in a global context.

Several events will take place in Brussels during the week:

11 October:

  • Seminar on "Cohesion Policy in the Eastern Partnership": regional policy dialogues have been initiated with Georgia and the Republic of Moldova. Officials from Moldova have just come back from a study visit to Latvia and to Flanders in Belgium.

  • EU-Japan-Latin America seminar on urban development: through the URBELAC programme supported by the Commission and the Inter-American Development Bank, Latin American and European cities have begun exchanges of best practice on urban development topics such as urban revitalisation, mobility, environment and education.

12 October:

  • EU-Ukraine seminar on regional policy": a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on regional policy in 2009 between the EU and Ukraine. A joint study by the OECD will soon provide an important tool for the Ukrainian government to fine-tune its regional development policy.

  • EU-Latin America seminar: Sergio Duarte de Castro, State Secretary in the Brazilian Ministry of National Integration, will participate together with Commissioner Hahn and discuss multi-level governance and cross-border exchange. The recent study by the OECD, "Territorial Review of Brazil", with the support of the European Commission the Brazilian Government will be presented. Representatives from Chile and Uruguay will also participate in the seminar.

  • EU-Russia on "mono-cities": Russian and European experts will exchange experiences on development and restructuring plans carried out in EU and Russian cities which were reliant on a single industry in the past ("mono-sectoral cities").

13 October:

  • EU-China High level seminar on regional policy in the presence of Commissioner Hahn and Chinese Vice-Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, Du Ying. EU and Chinese experts have finalised a study comparing key aspects of regional policy in China with cohesion policy in the EU, focussing on good practice in climate change adaptation, urban and rural development as a boost to economic growth and managing migratory flows.

Most of these countries have concluded a Memorandum of Understanding with the EU on regional policy, namely China, Russia, Brazil, Ukraine, Moldova, Chile and Georgia. These agreements call for a formal and structured dialogue with an agreed programme of high-level meetings, seminars and studies on the characteristics of regional policy and economic development in the countries concerned.

The main topics of common interest are: multi-level governance (involving local, regional, national levels in the decision-making and implementation process), cross-border cooperation, regional innovation systems, classification of regions and the role of smaller towns as poles of balanced development.

More information:

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