European conference promotes regional solutions to global challenges.
The recession has saddled many European cities and regions with high unemployment and battered their revenue base. So how are they coping? The answer could be crucial for Europe's recovery - local growth plays a vital role in driving the wider economy.
The question is sure to be on the minds of many at this year's Open days, the EU's annual conference on regional policy. One of the largest events of its kind, the gathering in Brussels showcases local efforts to boost growth and gives regions and cities an opportunity to brainstorm and build partnerships. The event is also a chance to show how they are putting EU regional development funds - €347bn for 2007-13 - to work.
Some 7 000 policy-makers, experts, and industry representatives from 33 countries have signed up for four days of seminars, workshops, lectures and exhibits from 5-8 October. Smaller conferences are taking place around Europe. Altogether 213 regions and cities are planning to participate.
Events will be grouped around four themes: innovation, sustainable development, territorial cooperation and EU regional policy. This year's conference will feature a series of lectures and moderated panels with renowned experts on regional policy.
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