Themes in 2016
The 14th European Week of Regions and Cities will focus on the challenges currently facing Europe's regions and cities. Building on the implementation cycle of EU cohesion policy programmes, the event will be aligned with the political priorities of the European Commission's and the European Committee of the Regions for 2016 and with the interests of the partner regions and cities.
Under the headline ‘Regions and cities for sustainable and inclusive growth’, some 100 sessions, seminars and meetings will be organized alongside the following thematic strands:
- Sustained and sustainable economic growth: What are the new opportunities for regions and cities to foster growth and jobs given the internationalisation of Europe's economies? And what are the main factors attracting new productive investment in the 21st century? This strand will consider which regions and cities are currently the more successful in drawing new investments and why. It will look specifically at the new opportunities linked to innovation with particular reference to energy efficiency, developing the low-carbon economy and promoting the circular economy as well as smart specialisation.
- Inclusive economic growth: How are labour market and social inclusion policies for disadvantaged sections of the population developed and implemented at local level? What are the measures for the creation of micro-businesses or small enterprises and for facilitating an environment which is more ‘self-employment friendly’? This strand will also allow regions and cities to share their experiences in tackling the refugee crisis, including through the use of EU funds.
- Making ESI Funds simpler: What can be learned from experience and good practices of regional and national authorities implementing programmes supported under European Structural and Investment Funds? How can programme management be more efficient and more effective, how can it be simplified? How to build administrative and executive capacity? This strand will also examine best practice in urban development, integrated territorial investment programmes and community-led local development.
Exchange between practitioners will be combined with input from academia. Non-EU countries interested in hearing and learning from European regions' experiences in regional policy as well as in presenting their own stories might also be participating in the European Week of Regions and Cities.
Discussions are intended to support the implementation of the 2014-2020 ESIF programmes, demonstrate the results of EU investment, showcase examples of good practice, and encourage input for possible future improvements.