European Week of Regions and Cities

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09/10/2017 - 12/10/2017
Brussels, Belgium

In 2017, the European Week of Regions and Cities will reach its 15th birthday. It is a moment of both looking back and looking forward, whilst tackling the challenges that the EU regional and urban policy should be addressing, as of today, and over the coming years.

The European Week will take place just ahead of the publication of the Cohesion Report and of the presentation of the EU multiannual financial framework 2020-2026. In this perspective, the event will be an ideal platform for gathering and presenting the views of the regions and cities on both the budget and the subsequent legislative proposals with regard to cohesion policy and rural development.

The debate on Europe's future will be kick-started by the Rome Treaties' anniversary (March) and will continue to unfold throughout 2017. The European Week of Regions and Cities will be an opportunity for EU regions and cities to contribute to this debate and to feed into the political mainstream examples and inputs from the regional and urban angle to shape Europe's future.

Europe's regions and cities face major challenges with profound consequences, such as adaptation to globalisation and to a new wave of automation in the workplace, as well as an urgent need to integrate migrant populations. These challenges can be turned into opportunities for economic and social progress, provided that the right policies and programmes are implemented at all levels.

Themes in 2017

Discussions during the European Week of Regions and Cities will examine the nature of these challenges and how they are playing out in different geographical contexts. Under the main headline of 'Regions and Cities working for a better future', the event will focus on three sub-themes:

Building resilient regions and cities
This strand will focus on the economic and social effects of globalisation and the policy response at EU, national, regional and local level. Among the negative risks are those of (further) delocalisation of lower added-value industries, the loss of low-skilled jobs, new sources of employment that are often service-based, precarious and lower-paid. It will also represent an opportunity to present and discuss innovative ways to foster change and in particular on how to make Europe's cities smarter and more resilient.

Regions and cities as change agents
This strand will consider the possible adaptations to EU regional and urban policy for the next 5-10 years on, and encourage a more general reflection on the EU from the perspective of regions and cities. It will offer a platform to illustrate the effective contributions EU regions and cities are making to the European project and will allow them to provide input to the main political debate in parallel with the 'Reflecting on Europe' process launched by the Committee of the Regions. This strand will also allow discussion of the results achieved so far and assessment of cohesion policy performances and benefits, in particular with regards to reducing disparities, while at the same time looking ahead at the future prospects.

Sharing knowledge to deliver results
Under this strand, regional and national authorities implementing programmes supported by the European Structural and Investments funds will have the opportunity to exchange experiences and good practices relating to programme management during the period 2014-2020. Key issues include the consideration of ways to reduce the administrative burden on beneficiaries through simplification, as well as different means of strengthening institutions and building administrative capacity among administrations at all levels.

Discussions with practitioners will be integrated with input from academia as well as from participants from non-EU countries that are interested in the process of European integration, both from an institutional point of view and in terms of policies that promote European cohesion.

Registration Information : http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/regions-and-cities/2017/register.cfm

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