Inspiring non-EU countries

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    This call is for EU regions interested in the development of cooperation opportunities with the Brazilian States of Paraná, Pernambuco and Pará. You could register your expression of interest until the 15th of June 2018 (midnight). 

    The EU awarded regions will be visited by the 3 Brazilian counterparts on purpose to promote their best practices on innovation themes or sectors of common interest. Through the entire project, an on-line platform will allow participants to exchange knowledge on the selected areas. On a later stage of the exchange of experiences two experts from each of the selected EU regions will take part in a conference in Brazil involving the three states and the Federal government. The costs related to the participation of European experts will be covered by the project.

    INNOV-AL Platform is a EU funded project for the promotion of decentralised innovation policies and cooperation in territorial cohesion. The project is supported by the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission (DG REGIO). The objective is to support the dissemination of the EU regional policy experience and good practices and to develop further cooperation between national and regional authorities and specialised agencies in the three Brazilian States as well as between Brazilian partners and EU regions on the implementation of decentralised, regional-level innovation and smart specialisation policies. Participating regions could have the possibility to conclude cooperation agreements or alternatively engage directly in concrete cooperation activities identified through the networking and knowledge exchange process. Please check the call overview here ( to read more about this project and check out the short description of the three Braizlian States open for pairing and cooperation.

    President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Friday 6 October 2017. The occasion was the 14th EU-India Summit, also marking the 55th anniversary since the establishment of EU-India diplomatic relations. Read the Press release.

    EU-India leaders also adopted Joint Declarations on specific issues including one which creates a new EU-India "partnership for smart and sustainable urbanisation".

    Under the terms of this Declaration, the EU institutions and the Ministry for Housing and Urban Affairs in India will work together on a number of issues and projects designed to promote knowledge sharing and exchange of experience on urban policy issues, in line with the New Urban Agenda of the United Nations where the EU and India were among the 170 signatories.  A joint EU-India work programme on urban themes will be developed over the coming months.    

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International Affairs

In the international relations arena, the Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy acts in support of, and in cooperation with the External Relations family of Directorates General (European External action Service EEAS and DEVCO) and with DG TRADE. There is a growing interest in different parts of world in the process of European integration, not just from an institutional point of view but also in terms of the policies that promote European cohesiveness. First and foremost among the latter is European regional policy which seeks to ensure that the benefits of the single market in Europe based on the free movement of goods and services, labour and capital, are as widely spread as possible.

Principal among the features of EU regional policy that are of interest to third countries such as China, Russia and Brazil, as well as to international organisations such as MERCOSUR and ASEAN, are the financial dimension and the geographical targeting of resources between Member States and regions; the geographical and strategic objectives; and the different dimensions of the implementation system. So far as countries in the European Neighbourhood are concerned the EU wishes to promote key concepts of EU regional policy such as open markets, respect for the environment, participative democracy and partnership in the conception and implementation of development policy.

This interest comes at a time when the policy has undergone substantial changes. In effect, EU regional policy today is a means of delivering the Union's policy priorities across its territory. It does so by co-financing integrated, national or regional investment programmes, where the Union's contribution to the programmes is greatest in the least prosperous areas.

Today therefore, EU regional policy is an integral part of economic policy, but with the unique feature that it is delivered with the consent and involvement of the grassroots through a multi-level governance system where each level - European, national, regional and local - has a role to play. The involvement of the grassroots, for example, in devising regional and local strategies and selecting projects creates a sense of ownership of European policy and in that way contributes to territorial integration. It is these features that have inspired interest in large countries with major territorial imbalances that are seeking to combine the pursuit of a more even pattern of growth with governance systems that contribute to transparent public policies and that help to further integration through decentralisation.

As well as projecting notions of inter-regional solidarity and good governance, cooperation in the field of regional policy also provides the opportunity to project other values such as respect for the free market through competition, state aid and public procurement rules, for environmental rules and policies and for equal opportunities and minority rights. These create the framework conditions under which EU financial support is granted and provide positive incentives to achieving high standards in public policy.

Regional Policy Dialogues

The Commission, DG REGIO, has concluded formal agreements on regional policy cooperation with China PDF EN zh, Russia PDF EN EN, Brazil PDF EN EN, and Ukraine PDF EN Ukrainian, Georgia PDF EN, Moldova PDF EN, Chile PDF EN es, Peru PDF EN es, Argentina PDF en es, Japan PDF EN, Mexico PDF EN es, Sistema de Integracion de Centro-America (SICA) PDF EN es, Colombia PDF EN es. These countries are confronted with wide regional disparities as well as major challenges in terms of coordinating the different levels of government, and ensuring that decentralization can be achieved without compromising efficiency.

Brochure : European Regional Policy, an inspiration for Countries outside the EU?

November 2009 - PDF en es fr hy ka mo pt Russian Ukrainian Chinese

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