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Local answers for growth - 08/10/2012

EU local and regional representatives share thoughts on the best ways to boost competitiveness, growth and jobs during their annual meeting in Brussels from 8 to 11 October.

The 10th edition of Open Days – European Week of Regions & Cities, the biggest annual event in the world of regional and urban policy, will bring together some 6 000 elected representatives from across Europe.

They will be looking at ways to support Europe’s exit from the economic crisis and set priorities for future EU funding for its regions. These funds help less developed regions to modernise, as the EU responds to the challenges of a globalised world economy.

For example, EU programmes have enabled enterprises to create 450 000 jobs since 2007, provided access to finance for at least 56 000 small businesses and helped 460 000 young people looking for work.

On the table are Commission proposals to make the next round of regional funding (2014-2020) more effective in achieving the long-term aims of Europe 2020, the EU's growth and jobs strategy.

Topics include:

  • smart and green growth, promoting innovation through research and development
  • support for small businesses
  • more cooperation among the regions

Events across Europe

Outside of Brussels, over 350 related events are being held around the EU and another 11 countries, including Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Iceland, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey. These include conferences, cultural events, festivals and exhibitions.

Birmingham, UK is hosting an event on 17 October on forging closer connections between researchers and the computer and communications industries.

Belfast, UK holds a fair and exhibition on 16 and 17 October promoting opportunities for living, working, travelling, volunteering and studying in another European country.

Kilkenny, Ireland is host to a seminar on 16 November looking at ways to improve the impact of future EU funding.

Open Days 2012 is organised by the Commission and the Committee of the Regions , the EU body through which regional and local governments have a say in the bloc’s policies.

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