AEBR played an active role in the 2012 edition of the Open Days in Brussels:



 

The OPEN DAYS 2012 were held in Brussels from 8 to 11 October 2012. Some 6000 regional policy practitioners from all over Europe came together to share best practice and discuss Regional Policy issues. Under the banner of ‘Europe’s Regions and Cities: Making a Difference’, more than 100 seminars and workshops took place with a focus on key priorities for the next funding period (2014-2020), i.e. smart and green growth for all, promoting innovation/research and development; support for SME's; territorial cooperation; and delivering and measuring results for a more effective and strategic policy.

Not to forget the more than 350 events that took or will take place under the title "Europe in my region/city" between September and November in the 27 EU Member States plus 11 other countries (including Bosnia‑Herzegovina, Croatia, Iceland, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey).

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz opened the four days of debate and discussion on the future shape of EU Regional Policy at the European Parliament on October 8 at 16:00. The event was co-hosted by EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, and the President of the Committee of the Regions, Ramon Luis Valcarel. Togehter with MEP Danuta Huebner, Chair of the Regional Development Committee and Eleni Mavrou, Minister of Interior, Representative of the Cyprus Presidency, they debated the added value of Regional Policy and how it is actively encouraging ownership of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

The opening speeches can be found via the following links:
President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz - DE -
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso - FR -
EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn - EN -

On 9th October at 16.00h, Commissioner Hahn presented the 27 projects competing for the 2013 RegioStars Awards. These projects highlight the innovative and excellent work that is being done ‘on the ground’. Click here for a video about this event. (http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/videos/video-details.cfm?vid=942&LAN=EN)

The Association of European Border Regions was also actively involved in the Open Days 2012. On 9th October, a workshop was held on Cross-Border Labour Market, co-organized by the AEBR, the Representation of Extremadura in Brussels, and the Portuguese region of Alentejo, at the Permanent Representation of Portugal towards the EU. This workshop was attended by more than 80 participants who discussed the opportunities and challenges of labour markets in border areas (see report and presentations available online:  http://www.aebr.eu/en/news/news_detail.php?news_id=171).

The AEBR was also present at the workshop organized by the EGTC Platform of the CoR: New Groupings, Better Performances, aimed to raise awareness on the new opportunities open for EGTCs in the new 2014-2020 period, to identify main questions for EGTC in the new cohesion and neighbourhood policy, and to pave the way to build new partnerships. Mr. Jens Gabbe, Chairman of the AEBR Advisory Committee gave our position on the proposed modification of the regulation.

Furthermore, the AEBR also took active part in the organization and implementation of the DG REGIO workshop on European Experiences of CBC: a Source of Inspiration for Latin American and African Countries. In recent years, the Commission has established structured dialogues on regional policy with a number of non-EU countries, with the objective of promoting mutual understanding and bi-lateral cooperation in the field of regional policy, and to establish communication channels to strengthen the exchange of information. This seminar provided a discussion frame with Latin American partners, the African Union, the Commission and the AEBR on the main challenges faced by border regions to develop effective CBC. Presentations focused on identifying lessons learnt and obstacles, as well as the relevance of international cooperation to overcome those obstacles.

A special article by AEBR Secretary General Martín Guillermo Ramírez was published at 'The Parliament Magazine: Regional Review. Special issue Open Days': http://www.theparliament.com/regrdigimag/issue24, (AEBR article: http://www.theparliament.com/latest-news/article/newsarticle/open-days-martin-guillermo-ramirez/).

Presentations given during the Open Days (as well as CVs of speakers) can be found on this page, just select a day and glance for the WS themes that were discussed: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/conferences/od2012/presentations_frame.cfm

For comprehensive information about the Open Days please consult www.opendays.europa.eu.

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