European Summit of Regions and Cities, 05-06/03/2009, Prague: extracts from the welcoming speeches
End production: 05/03/2009 First transmission: 05/03/2009
The European Summit of Regions and Cities was held, in partnership with the Committee of the Regions and the City of Prague, in Prague on 5 and 6 March 2009 in the Municipal House and the Zofín Palace.
In terms of the number of participants, this event ranked among the largest events of the Czech Presidency. Among the participants of the Summit were members of the Committee of the Regions, selected significant political representatives from the EU (including Mayors of European capital cities who are not members of the Committee of the Regions), the highest representatives of other European institutions (European Commission, European Parliament etc.), Members of the EP, representatives of the Czech government, representatives of regional and local authorities (regional Presidents, Mayors) and many representatives of national and regional media.
The central topic of the summit was the cohesion policy. However, its topics also reflected the current economic development in the world, including Europe's ability to react to the financial crisis and find solutions to achieve the long-term objectives in the area of competitiveness and growth that are included in the Lisbon Strategy. The conclusion of the summit was expected to be a declaration, which would thereafter be presented by the President of the Committee of the Regions at the Spring European Council.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior views of Zofín Palace in Prague, with banners of the Commitee of the Regions (3 shots)
||Arrival of Luc van den Brande, President of the Committee of the Regions
||SOUNDBITE by Luc van den Brande (in DUTCH): I would like to welcome you on this Summit of Regions and Cities in Prague, Europe's golden city; when Europe goes through difficult economic and financial times, we have the opportunity to show the strength of the EU; we want to and have to be part of the development of the national recovery programmes; this is the hard core of what we call multi-level governance. (5 shots)
||SOUNDBITE by Luc van den Brande (in ENGLISH): my dear colleagues, as we move closer to a new Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs beyond 2010, it is clear that there is growing awareness of the fact that European governance needs to be inclusive; European policies will only deliver on the ground if the involvement and support of Europe's regions and cities are guaranteed; Europe's regions and cities need to become pro-active and willing to re-focus their actions and administration towards the Union's political agenda; they must not be passive; they must act and even more importantly, they must anticipate. (5 shots)
||SOUNDBITE by Claudio Martini, Member of the Committee of the Regions, President of the Tuscany region, President of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR), (in ITALIAN): we need to deal with this crisis through dialogue, based on clean energy and environment, innovation and research, real economy with real rules that make an end to the schizophrenia of the financial markets.
||Cutaways (2 shots)