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European Week of Regions and Cities

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Migration and development: Can new data cool a hot topic?

The pro/anti-migration debate has been taking up a generous amount of space in the EU’s media and political sphere, especially in the last ten years. But what effect is migration having on Europe? New data may shed light on this question. By Jagoda Sadowska and Sarah Nassar Badwy (Edited by Vilde Skorpen Wikan) Migration is a topic of fierce debate in Europe. And many member states are not seeing eye to eye on the value of opening their borders to refugees and immigrants. For example, anti...

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The fight against silence in the rural

Aging, depopulation and loneliness are realities witnessed in more and more regions in countries across Europe. But now regional, national and EU-initiatives are seeking to stop and reverse this situation. By Xoel Rodríguez (Edited by Vilde Skorpen Wikan) European regions must focus on the impact that demographic change is having on our countries. Various demographic challenges and possible solutions were presented by the Galicia Europe Foundation and the Department of Social Policy of the...

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A letter from Brussels: how to make it real in Europe's regions and cities

There sat four people. It was the second workshop, Cohesion Policy 2021-2021 and NextGenerationEU: making it real in Europe’s regions and cities. By Onur Anamur (Edited by Dino Subašić) Two were members of the Committee of the Regions, the EU’s advisory committee on regional policy comprised of municipal and regional politicians: a Frisian alderman, Rob Jonkman, and Isabelle Boudineau, vice-president of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. There sat also two eurocrats: high-ranking communications officer...

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Smart city strategy ‒ the future for Lviv

More than half of the human population today lives in urban areas even though cities produce 60 % of greenhouse gas emissions. To make cities more sustainable and inclusive, urbanists have developed smart cities strategies. At an event of the European Week of the Regions and the Cities, four innovators showed how they are overcoming challenges, like the lack of financing and citizens’ support, while implementing smart initiatives. By Valeria Pavlenko (Edited by Dinah Ahl) Every urban area has...

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EU4Balkans: extending a helping hand to “the other Europe”

Tolerance, solidarity, equality. These are just part of the values we commonly associate with the pan-European idea – the personal identification with Europe in a political and cultural context. However, one region often misses out on this shared feeling of belonging – the Western Balkans. By Viktoria Hristova (Edited by Marta Silvia Viganò) The prospect of the Western Balkans’ integration within the European Union has been a subject of long debate. With a new 30-billion euro investment plan in...

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A sustainable swimming pool with a social impact

"You need 3 m² of swimming water surface per city inhabitant," says Dirk van Wiele, head of the Sporting Infrastructure Administration at the Free University of Brussels (VUB). Currently, the city of Brussels managed to reach a total of 60 % of this Flemish rule requirement. There is a clear shortage of swimming water possibilities. By Geraldine Gomez Ruiz (Edited by Dino Subašić) This is why the VUB has taken it upon to renovate the pool as it adds up to 12 % of swimming water possibilities to...

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“The EU has done a lot, but it needs to do more”: Gender-sensitive policy on a European level still lagging behind

Young women face unique and significant hurdles when it comes to taking part in our democratic system. Currently, not enough is done to support them in pursuing leadership positions. Just as an example, Europe-wide legislation protecting women from online hate speech has not been implemented yet. By Sofia Strodt, Camilla Egeborg Moeller, Anna-Katharina Ahnefeld (Edited by Marta Silvia Viganò) Gender differences in the EU: Cyber violence prevents women from entering politics The fact that gender...

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Europe’s Leap of Faith: A talk with Lilyana Pavlova

Lilyana Pavlova, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, shares the bank’s vision for financially supporting cohesion and climate at the 19th edition of the EU Regions Weeks. By Theodore Bechlivanis, Camila O'Reilly and Dena Ristani (Edited by Vilde Skorpen Wikan) “You need a good story to write a good article”. These were the words shared by journalist and media expert Guillaume Kuster with a conference room full of bright-eyed young journalists on the eve of the European Union’s...

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The future of sustainable public transport is here!

This year’s European Week of Regions and Cities is not short of initiatives that tackle the future of the union. Among them, four projects aiming to bring sustainability into public transport stand out. By Carlos Caselles and Matilde Dias (Edited by Vilde Skorpen Wikan) In a densely populated, highly urban continent like Europe, public transport is the backbone of many citizens’ everyday lives. In 2014, more than 57 billion journeys took place on our continent; either by bus, tram, metro or...

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Progress is inevitable: How can organizations use the power of AI?

I am inevitable. I am the future you cannot stop said one robot to another, and he was completely right. The progress of modern technology cannot be oppressed. More importantly, it shouldn’t be. Although it’s still in the cradle, artificial intelligence truly makes the world a better place. By Natália Mrázová (Edited by Dino Subašić) Industries are using advanced AI technologies and machine learning to make people’s lives easier. A 2018 McKinsey research showed that around 47 % of organizations...

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