Open Days 2011

News Archive

13 October 2011


The OPEN DAYS Official Reception offered to the 1100 invited guests s a fabulous culinary voyage through European fine Cuisine. 13 Euro-Toques chefs prepared regional specialities to the delight of many "gourmets". The buffet-diner held on the 5th and 6th floor of the CoR building was served thanks to the collaboration with the "Ecole hôtelière de Namur" and entertained by Samokhin Band from the City of Lodz in Poland and the Magic Land Theatre actors who surprised and entertained the crowd.

12 October: 48 Workshops !

48 is the number of OPEN DAYS workshops organised only during the day of yesterday dispatched in the several OD venues. A total of 4658 participants and around 148 speakers were involved. The majority of the workshops organised in the Public-Private Partnership programme were followed by   networking sessions. Throughout the Meeting Place area, each Networking area was individually customised. The Workshop's organiser and their participants expressed their satisfaction with this new OD appointment, as it is a pleasant way for participants and speakers to continue their discussions informally.

Smart spending of EU funds

Organised by BUSINESSEUROPE, a high-level debate moderated by Joshua Chaffin, Financial Times, involved, among others, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Member of the European Parliament, Dirk Ahner, European Commission, Director-General of DG Regional Policy, Philippe de Buck, Director-General of BUSINESSEUROPE, and  Iain Begg, London School of Economic on questions related to the new rules for cohesion policy as suggested by the European Commission for the period 2014-2020 on 6 October. A lively debate on the Committee of the Regions premises was followed by more than 200 participants and continued during a networking meeting over lunch time.

European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation.

The (EGTC) Platform workshop opened by M. Bresso and M. Hahn and moderated by Mr Delebarre intended to be the main meeting with stakeholders before proposing a revision on the European Commission 2006 Regulation on territorial cooperation. The European Parliament and the Polish Presidency of the Council explained their position about the proposals of the European Commission. The local and regional authorities, cross-border structures of cooperation, organisations of support and experts expressed actively their points of view. The workshop was complemented by a thematic exhibition visited by a large amount of people visiting the Jacques Delors building.

OPEN DAYS University

Yesterday one of the OPEN DAYS University sessions covered the topic of regional resilience, a concept that is used more and more in regional development contexts. Researchers are still struggling with the definition of the concept. However, during the sessions the speakers referred to it as being the ability of regions to respond to shock and structural change, making regions having to evolve as a reaction. Regional resilience was also referred to as being the capacity of regions to act or react, and as being equal to anticipation and adaptation, in short an ability to plan ahead and be prepared in case of e.g. economic downturns and natural disasters. It would thus be essential for policy makers to act as "change agents.

PPP experiences Urban development

How can cities and regions, challenged by urban development, manage to provide public services, social housing or re-develop brown field sites? If you are interested in that topic, just participate to this morning's workshop 13B25 in JDE room 52 from 9:00 to 10h45.  The INTERREG IV-B Central Europe Project ACT4PPP gathered under the lead of the German Federal Association of the State and Urban Development Companies and 17 European cities will exchange their PPP experiences and present three pilot projects and results which have been made in the last years.

12 October 2011


The affluence of participants, speakers, experts from local and regional authorities and other representatives as well as journalists remains impressive! Yesterday by 18:00, 4122 participants had picked up their OPEN DAYS badges. So far, more than two thirds of the speakers' have given their speeches and a total of 224 journalists are accredited.


Why is it important to actively involve cities and local level entities to meet the targets of the "Europe 2020" strategy?  And which are the instruments for cities to fulfil their tasks in urban development? These two main questions were the core of the debate organised yesterday in the Polish Presidency context by all Polish regional representations in Brussels. Among the speakers, EP REGIO Chair, Mrs Hübner and CoR President Mrs Mercedes Bresso insisted on the urban dimension of the Cohesion policy as one of the key elements of the upcoming negotiations on 2014-2020 regulations.

RegioStars 2013 

Tomorrow, 13 October the Commission announces the launch of the 2013 RegioStars awards for regional innovative projects.  For 2013 an important change in the timetable is made to make the award scheme more attractive and create a new incentive for regions to apply.  The 2013 categories will be announced along with the deadline of 20 April 2012 for applications. Check the details here.


A large part of OPEN DAYS workshops' presentations are online, classified by the three themes of OPEN DAYS - Europe 2020, Better delivery, Geography matters, and OPEN DAYS University. Under this link you will also find most of the speakers' CVs.



11 October 2011


OPEN DAYS Opening Session 10 Oct 2011(11 October 2011) Committee of the Regions President Mercedes Bresso and Commissioner Johannes Hahn officially opened the OPEN DAYS 2011 yesterday afternoon in the European Parliament's hemicycle, together with the chairwoman of the Parliament’s Regional Development Committee Danuta Hübner. More than 1,000 participants followed keynote speeches given by EP President Jerzy Buzek, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and the Polish Minister of Regional Development, Elzbieta Bienkowska. During the debate with the floor, the proposals on cohesion policy 2014-2020, which the European Commission tabled on 6 October, were commented on by Members of the EP, the Committee of the Regions and other regional and local representatives.

Committee of the Regions Press Release after the Opening Session PDF
Welcome address of Mercedes Bresso EN FR IT PDF
Presentation/Speech of Johannes HahnEN PDF
Speech of Jerzy Buzek EN PDF
Speech of José Manuel BarrosoFR PDF
Speech of Elzbieta Bienkowska
European Commission Press Release on OPEN DAYS

EP and CoR Committees join forces

The ‘territorial dimension’ of the new legislative package is on the agenda of today’s joint meeting of Committee of the Regions’  Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy (COTER) and the European Parliament’s  Committee on Regional Development (REGI). Danuta Hubner and Michel Delebarre will discuss with expected 200 local stakeholders.


Website of the REGI Committee
Website of the COTER Commission


10 October 2011

The biggest event on European Regional Policy starts TODAY!

The event of the day is the 2011 OPEN DAYS Opening Session which will be held in the European Parliament's Hemicycle from 15:00 to 18:00. The Hemicycle is already completely full so no last minute registrations are possible, but you can follow the complete session on Europe by Satellite (EBS) and on our webstreaming page.

For the first time, six main European Representatives will come together to address the OPEN DAYS  welcome messages (Danuta Hübner, Chair of the European Parliament's Committee on Regional Development, Mercedes Bresso, President of the Committee of the Regions, Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Regional Policy) and keynote speeches (Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Minister of Regional Development, Poland, on behalf of the EU Presidency,).

In addition, Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Regional Policy will present the new European Commission's proposals for the 2014-2020 EU Cohesion policy regulation.

During the second part, the debate from the floor, with regional and local representatives, moderated by Jacki Davis, will focus on the three key themes of OPEN DAYS.

  • Europe 2020 and cohesion policy: How will regions and cities establish the links?

  • Better delivery: How to improve governance and management of cohesion policy?

  • Geography matters: How to strengthen cooperation across border and take account of territorial cohesion?


Cohesion Policy 2014-20

On 6 October, Commissioners Johannes Hahn and Lazlo Ándór presented the European Commission's proposals on new cohesion policy regulations for the period 2014–2020, which will be discussed during the OPEN DAYS Opening Session on 10 October to which more than 1,000 participants are expected. The session can be followed live on the web between 15:00 and 18:00.

More information:

EU Cohesion Policy 2014-2020: legislative proposals
REGI hearing of 6 October p.m.
CoR press release (6 October)

Online registration is now closed !

Registration Now Open!(28 September 2011)  Online registration is now closed. However, the OPEN DAYS Team invites you to come and register on site during the OPEN DAYS from 10 to 13 October in Brussels. The programme at a glance is available here. A printed version will be distributed at the accreditation locations*, where last minute registration will be possible. A list of workshops still open will be available at the Registration desks.
In the meantime, you can check the registration website in order to prepare for your visit.

Please note that in order to access all OPEN DAYS premises, you will need a badge.  A few days before the event, all participants who registered online will receive by email a personal barcode which will allow them to pick up their badge at two different locations:

* the OPEN DAYS tent - located on the esplanade of Directorate-General for Regional Policy, in front of Cours Saint-Michel 2, Av. De Tervuren 41, 1040 Brussels.
Metro station (Lines 1+5): Merode (exit 7: Pr. Jean de Mérode).

* the Committee of the Regions, Jacques Delors building - located on Rue Belliard 101, 1040 Brussels
Metro station (Lines 1+5): Maelbeek (exit: Etterbeek)

Opening Hours for PARTICIPANTS, SPEAKERS, and JOURNALISTS (including on site registrations):
Monday, 10 October: 08:00 -18:30
Tuesday, 11 October: 08:00 -18:30
Wednesday, 12 October: 08:00 -15:00
Thursday, 13 October: 08:00 -10:00
Please click here for the Map of venues

OPEN DAYS: Seminars are filling up

(29 August 2011) About 12,000 requests for attendance to OPEN DAYS workshops and more than 3,000 participants have been accepted by today. This means that the workshop occupancy rate averages between 70% and 78% and 19 workshops out of 111 are fully booked. In terms of countries of origin, the majority of participants come from Belgium (32%), followed by France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom, Sweden and Germany, each of which between 3.8% and 7.6%. Most participants will come from national, regional and local  administrations from all over Europe, as well as from academia, European associations, the business sector and consultancies.     

With the Structural Funds Regulations for 2014-2020 most likely to be adopted by the European Commission in early October, OPEN DAYS 2011 represents one of the first opportunities to discover and discuss the new proposals in detail. Media accreditation has begun and of the expected 300 media representatives, over 50 have confirmed their presence already.

Local Events 2011

(24 August 2011) The country leaflets and the interactive map containing all OPEN DAYS - Local events that will take place in the various European regions and cities between September and November 2011 have been uploaded under the "local events" section of this website (both in English and the national language(s)). Do not hesitate to join one or the other event.


EN FR DE EN FR DE You did register for OPEN DAYS but you still look for an accommodation in Brussels during the event?
RESOTEL did a selection of hotels for attendees to the OPEN DAYS. Many rooms are still available at very reasonable prices. Feel free to contact  RESOTEL for assistance at or at +32-2.779.39.39 or book yourself very easily on

About the OPEN DAYS

EN FR DE (12 July 2011) Are you completely new to the OPEN DAYS, or have you always wanted to know what it is really about? Then this handy presentation is the ideal way to get acquainted with the OPEN DAYS or inform others about the event. Available in three languages (EN, FR, DE), it details all the essential elements a newcomer needs to know about the OPEN DAYS – European Week of Regions and Cities!

206 regions and cities selected for OPEN DAYS 2011

(28 March 2011) 206 regions and cities from 27 Member States and eight third countries will take part in OPEN DAYS 2011. Organised in 23 regional partnerships, they will contribute with 24 workshops to the complete programme of more than 100 seminars taking place during the OPEN DAYS between 10 and 13 October. In addition, the Committee of the Regions will host some 35 workshops in the framework of the Meeting Place, most of which focusing on public-private partnerships.

List of OPEN DAYS Regional Partnerships PDF
List of Meeting Place partners PDF

Second OPEN DAYS Partners Meeting

(23 June 2011) The second OPEN DAYS 2011 Partners Meeting took place on 21 June to discuss organisational issues in the preparation of the European Week of Regions and Cities held from 10-13 October in Brussels.



OD Magazine

(8 June 2011) The OPEN DAYS Team is pleased to present you its unique OD Magazine introducing the OPEN DAYS 2011 edition . You will discover the three main themes and the general programme overview.

Download (2 MB): DE EN FR

OPEN DAYS 2011 Preliminary Programme

(6 June 2011) The OPEN DAYS 2011 Preliminary Programme is now available here PDF. Please note that the full programme will be online early-mid July when workshop participants' registration commences.

Poster competition for early career researchers in European regional policy

RSA - Poster competition for early career researchers in European regional policy(18 May 2011) The Directorate-General for Regional Policy, European Commission, and the Regional Studies Association invite early career researchers in European regional policy to present their research in the form of a poster at OPEN DAYS 2011, the European Week of Cities and Regions (10th - 13thOctober). The overall winner will get €750 and the first runner-up will get €250.

The Competition takes place in two stages:

  • Stage One: Submission of a 1000 word (max) abstract and a current CV to before the 17th June 2011
  • Stage Two: The Competition Jury will shortlist finalists by 30 June 2011. Finalists will be invited to prepare a poster and to be prepared to take questions on their poster from the Competition Jury.

Further details are available here:

Registration for the OPEN DAYS 2011 starts in July

(19 April 2011) The OPEN DAYS 2011 participants' registration will start in July, when the full programme is made available online. Please check this website for further news and updates.

Meeting Place at OPEN DAYS 2011: 38 applications received

(09 March 2011) Following the 4 March application deadline for participation in the Meeting Place, the Committee of the Regions has received 38 proposals for workshops and expressions of interests from 9 individual PPP (public-private-partnership) projects. Proposals come from regions and cities, companies and European associations and networks, PPP expertise centres and financial institutions. The selection process is now underway, and the results will be available end of March. The objective is to have about 25-30 workshops at the Meeting Place as part of the OPEN DAYS 2011 (11-13 October), some of them being organised by the Committee of the Regions itself.

OPEN DAYS 2010 Proceedings

(09 March 2011) The OPEN DAYS 2010 Proceedings (English only). Paper versions will be available for distribution as of 20 March. OD2010 Partners will automatically receive two copies. Additional copies can be picked up upon request at the CoR.

213 regions and cities apply for the OPEN DAYS 2011

(08 March 2011) By Friday 04 March, midnight, 24 regional partnerships have applied to participate in the OPEN DAYS 2011. They involve 213 regions and cities from 27 EU Member States and 7 third countries. The 24 proposed workshops are broken down: 'Theme 1: Europe 2020' (11), 'Theme 2: Better delivery' (4) and 'Theme 3: Geography matters' (10). The OPEN DAYS team will now assess the applications. Final results of selected applicants should be announced by 28 March.

Applications for the OPEN DAYS 2011 partnerships are closed

(05 March 2011) Applications for OPEN DAYS 2011 partnerships closed on Friday 4 March. Results will be made public as of 28 March.

Frequently Asked Questions about the OPEN DAYS 2011

(01 March 2011) How can I become an event partner? What about this year's programme? Can I organise a local event? From conditions of registration to general enquiries about the OPEN DAYS, the FAQ PDF covers a number of questions partner candidates or future attendees may have about this year's OPEN DAYS.
Reminder: Candidates to become OPEN DAYS partners should apply by 4 March 2011. Check our new "Become a partner" section for further details and application forms.

Local events' handbook now in French and German

(10 February 2011) Candidates for the OPEN DAYS 2011 local events can now download the local event handbook in three languages - French pdf, German pdf and English pdf - or request a paper copy.

High-level European policymakers discuss future of EU cohesion policy

(02 February 2011) Some 800 high-level policymakers and stakeholders from the 27 Member States met on 31 January and 1 February in Brussels for the Fifth Cohesion Forum, an important milestone towards the future of the  EU cohesion policy after 2013. "Cohesion Policy is an investment policy and a vector of growth for all" stressed European Commission President José Manuel Barroso. Whilst Regional Policy Commissioner  Johannes Hahn warned that "the fight for an adequate budget is far from over", Mercedes Bresso, President of the Committee of the Regions, insisted on the need  to "ensure that cohesion policy has the resources it needs after 2013 to continue the process of reducing economic, social and territorial disparities between Europe's regions".
The role that cohesion policy can play to implement the Europe 2020 Strategy will be further discussed this autumn as one of the three thematic priorities of the OPEN DAYS 2011.

Handbook for local events available

(26 January 2011) A new handbookpdf guides local event organisers ('Europe in my Region/City') through the preparation of such event between September and November 2011 and presents some detail on the 260 local events held in 2010. The handbook will be available in French and German, too, and paper copies can be sent upon request. Find out more on the related section of this website.

OPEN DAYS team up with EPEC

(25 January 2011) OPEN DAYS 2011 will liase with the 'European Public-Private Partnership Expertise Centre' (EPEC), a joint initiative of the EIB, the European Commission and EU Member States and Candidate Countries. EPEC helps strengthen the capacity of its public sector members to enter into public-private partnerships, a subject, which will be key during seminars held at the 'Meeting Place' on Committee of the Regions' premises. For details about EPEC, visit: Regions, cities and associations are invited to contribute best practices in PPP at the 'Meeting Place' between 11 and 13 October. See the related section on this website for more.

Kick-off OPEN DAYS 2011

Gerhard Stahl and Dirk Ahner(8 December 2010) Dirk Ahner, Director-General of the European Commission's Regional Policy DG and the Secretary-General of the Committee of the Regions, Gerhard Stahl, presented to an audience of about 100 representatives from regions, companies and associations context and objectives of the OPEN DAYS 2011, which will be held for the 9th time between 10 and 13 October.

Together they introduced the slogan 'Investing in Europe’s future: Regions and cities delivering smart, sustainable and inclusive growth'. As the debate on the next long-term budget and the legislative framework of cohesion policy post-2013 will be in full swing in 2011, Mr Ahner and Mr Stahl stressed that OPEN DAYS 2011 will be an ideal framework for regions and cities to influence the political debate and also to showcase good practice in the field of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. 

The three thematic priorities were presented  

  •  Europe 2020 visualising how regions contribute to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth through cohesion policy; 
  •  Better delivery to focus on how to improve the delivery of cohesion policy in the current period and post-2013; 
  •  Geography matters highlighting the usefulness of territorial approaches when identifying needs and exploiting potentials at regional and local level (urban development; territorial cooperation; EGTC; macro-regions; cooperation with third countries).

along with the details of how to become an OPEN DAYS event partner. Until 4 March 2011, regions, cities, EU institutions, companies, financial institutions and associations have time to apply. Around 100 workshops and debates along the above mentioned themes will be organised, to which some 6,000 participants are expected to attend.  An important feature will again be the showcase of good projects co-funded by the European regional policy. 

One of the novelties of the 2011 edition of OPEN DAYS concerns the concept of the Meeting Place, which counts for one third of the OPEN DAYS workshops. The focus of the events at the Meeting Place will be on presenting successful public-private partnerships from regions and cities, e.g. in the field of public transport, energy supply and energy efficiency, waste and water treatment, and health services.
For more details on OPEN DAYS 2011, please  consult the Information Pack.

Kick-off event 08 December 2010 ppt

Application Form for Regional Partnership xls

Application Form for Projects co-financed by the Structural Funds doc

Application Form for the Meeting Place xls

Application Form for Local Events xls