Please take a few minutes to fill in our evaluation survey until 10 November 2017.
We are eager to hear your ideas, remarks and suggestions including new theme(s) for the European Week of Regions and Cities 2018!
The 15th European Week of Regions and Cities gathered almost 6000 participants and over 800 speakers from all over Europe. 137 workshops, visits, and networking events took place to investigate how regions and cities can work for a better future in Europe. Watch our closing video and read the main #EURegionsWeek highlights outlined in our Daily reports, or dig deeper and look for some presentations in the Library section of the event's website. If not already done, discover also the event in pictures in our Flickr gallery. See you in 2018, 8 to 11 October, for another inspiring European, regional and local experience!
Thank you to you all – participants, speakers and partners – for your contribution to this year's edition of #EURegionsWeek. We look forward to welcoming you back next year.
Watch the video celebrating 15 years of European Week of Regions and Cities.
Read our online daily report to get an impression of what happened on Wednesday. Browse our pictures from our gallery and share it on social media!
Read our online daily report to get an impression of what happened on Thursday. Browse our pictures from our gallery and share it on social media!
On Tuesday evening the European Commission's RegioStars Awards ceremony took place in Brussels as part of the European Week of Regions and Cities.
This annual EU-wide competition puts the spotlight on the most innovative and inspiring EU funded projects and illustrates, through concrete real-life examples, how Cohesion Policy supports people's lives through the creation of economic growth and jobs at a regional level.
In addition to bringing recognition to the selected projects, it aims to foster the exchange of best practices between Cohesion Policy practitioners, as well as to inspire other project managers and managing authorities.
Out of 103 applications, an independent expert jury first shortlisted 24 finalists. In a second stage, five winning projects were selected to receive the prestigious RegioStars trophy from the hands of EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Creţu and the RegioStars Jury President, MEP Lambert van Nistelrooij. In addition, this year, 11937 votes were cast for the Public Choice Award! Project Coordination to improve gender-based violence victims' labour market integration and social inclusion won, based on the votes received via social media and from the attendees of the event. Project IPN TecBIS – Technology Business Innovation Sustainable Growth – Business Accelerator and project Together Beyond Silence (Don’t stay alone in the silence) received a special mention as they were greatly appreciated.
This year, the submitted projects competed in 5 categories: Smart Specialisation for SME innovation, Energy Union: climate change, Women empowerment and active participation, Education and Training, and CityStars: cities in digital transition.
The 24 selected finalists come from regions and cities in 20 Member States and one neighbouring country: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United Kingdom and many of them address common challenges through cooperation across borders.
Bio Base North West Europe
A five country-partnership of bio-innovation experts could be crucial to Europe replacing non-renewable resources and developing the bio-based economy. The Bio Base NWE project supported the increased commercialisation of innovation to make North-West Europe a leading player in the emerging bio-economy. This was possible with the cooperation of partners from regions in Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
"InnoHiili" - Innovative Low-Carbon Public Services
The city of Ii in Finland cut its CO² emissions by half during 2007-15 - the fastest rate in the country. The InnoHiili project is helping the city reach the Finnish Environment Institute’s target of an 80% emissions cut by 2030. But Ii plans to do it 10 years faster thanks to cooperation with all citizens.
Coordination to improve gender-based violence victims' labour market integration and social inclusion
A network of centres in Murcia, Spain supports female victims of gender-based violence. The regional employment and training service gives similar assistance. A project to improve coordination between them ensures more personalised support and a single point of contact.
EkoBiz – Promotion of Youth Entrepreneurship in the Organic Agriculture Sector
A green project in the largely rural Split-Dalmatia region of Croatia is showing young people that they do not have to move to the city to enjoy a bright future.
The EkoBiz project was so popular it exceeded its expectations to train 25 young people in organic farming practices. More than 70 people ended up taking the training and were helped to develop viable business plans.
EkoBiz also encouraged 10 schools and 10 nurseries to develop small-scale projects related to organic farming and agriculture.
Smart Service Power
A project based in Germany is harnessing an array of IT technologies to help elderly people stay in their own homes for longer. The all-in system should take the pressure off hard-pressed care workers and health providers.
Smart Service Power is looking to integrate functions from the fields of e-health, smart homes, ambient assisted living, emergency call systems and concierge services. The resulting ‘internet-of-things’ platform will make it possible to monitor an elderly individual’s condition and help them live life to the fullest.
Read our online daily report to get an impression of what happened on Tuesday. Browse our pictures from our gallery and share it on social media!
Discover the daily photo reportage of the event on our Flickr gallery. Up to 70% of the workshops will be covered. Albums are labelled according to the workshop codes.
Read our online daily report to get an impression of what happened on Monday. Browse our pictures from our gallery and share it on social media!
The annual gathering of European regions and cities starts today 9 October at 14:30 in the European Parliament in Brussels. For the 15th edition of the European Week, the organisers have imagined an unusual Opening Session in the EP Hemicycle. Un-registered participants can follow via web streaming. The Opening Session will officially kick-off a programme of 130 workshops spread across some 30 Brussels-based venues. Over 5 600 people and 800 speakers are registered for this four-day event on EU regional policy.
Watch the trailer
The European Week of Regions and Cities has just started.
If you couldn't register to your favourite workshop it is still possible to follow it on the web.
Video recordings of many of these workshops will be made available after the event on the same page.
Check the European Week of Regions and Cities Web streaming programme
The Commission publishes the 7th Cohesion report, taking the pulse of EU regions, drawing lessons from cohesion spending during the crisis years and setting the scene for Cohesion Policy after 2020.
Analysing the current state of the EU's economic, social and territorial cohesion, the Cohesion report brings our Union under a magnifying glass: Europe's economy is bouncing back but disparities persist between and within our Member States.
Public investment in the EU is still below pre-crisis levels but regions and Member States need even more support to take up the challenges identified in the reflection paper on the future of EU finances; the digital revolution, globalisation, demographic change and social cohesion, economic convergence and climate change.
Commissioner for Regional policy Corina Creţu said: "The report clearly shows that our Union needs more cohesion. Whilst the crisis is over, it clearly has left scars in many regions. They will need Cohesion Policy to meet today's and tomorrow's challenges."
The report does not pre-empt the final proposal of the Commission but it fuels the discussion on Cohesion Policy after 2020. It suggests an EU-wide policy serving three main purposes: harnessing globalisation, leaving no one behind and supporting structural reforms.
An EU-wide policy: In the last two decades, Cohesion Policy delivered results in all EU regions and was a major source of investment. It directly created 1.2 million jobs in the EU over the last 10 years as growth-supportive public investments plunged in many Member States.
Regional economic gaps are slowly shrinking again. The reflection paper on the future of EU finances opened the discussion; should Cohesion Policy now only focus on less-developed regions?
Regions are growing, the Cohesion report shows, but not at the same pace. Many regions with a wealth close to the EU average seem stuck in a “middle-income trap”.
Some have been bearing the costs of globalisation without yet reaping its benefits, often with substantial job losses and the incapacity to achieve industrial transformation. They will need further financial support to foster job creation and structural change.
In addition, the report highlights that the current level of investment is insufficient to reach the 2030 targets of shares of renewable energy and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. All EU regions will therefore need more funding to achieve decarbonisation.
Harnessing globalisation: To hold their own in a globalised economy, regions need to modernise their economies and create value. As only a handful of EU regions can today lead the way, further investments are needed in innovation, digitisation and decarbonisation. In addition to funding, efficient links should be fostered between research centres, businesses and services.
Leaving no one behind: Some regions face mass exodus, while many cities are under pressure due to newcomers seeking better prospects, including migrants. If the EU employment rate has reached a new high, the unemployment rate, especially among young people, is still above pre-crisis levels.
Tackling unemployment, helping people develop their skills and set up businesses while fighting exclusion and discrimination will require further investment. The social cohesion of our Union in the near future depends on it.
Supporting structural reforms: Improving public administration boosts competitiveness, growth and maximise the impact of investments. Like the reflection paper, the Cohesion report acknowledges that the link between Cohesion Policy and the EU economic governance may need to be strengthened to support reforms for a growth-conducive environment.
A public consultation on the future Cohesion Policy will be launched in early 2018. In May 2018, the Commission's proposal for the multi-annual financial framework (MFF) will be presented, followed by the proposals for Cohesion Policy after 2020.
Some Belgian trade unions have announced a 24-hour rail strike on Tuesday, October 10, disrupting traffic from 10 p.m. on Monday 9th until 10 p.m. on Tuesday 10th. The Brussels bus, tram and metro lines (STIB) are joining the strike. We invite participants to anticipate severe transportation delays and seek alternative transport. For registered participants to the Official reception on Tuesday, some bus transfers to the Square Meeting Centre will be organised – seats on "first come first served" basis. As alternative: walk to the Square, only 20 minutes walking distance from the Schuman area. More information will be available at the European Committee of the Regions and at the European Commission (CCAB and Charlemagne buildings).
Efficient public procurement is a challenge to many Member States - irregularities and lengthy procedures, as well as limited administrative capacity are some examples of the problems encountered. Yet individual countries and their administrations have developed solutions to many common issues.
For this purpose, the Commission will soon present a new tool for sharing of good practices in order to improve the compliance and quality of public procurement across the EU. The e-library will for the first time be showed to the public on the occasion of this year's edition of the European Week of Regions and Cities (Brussels 9 -12 October 2017). At a special workshop "Procurement for better results: sharing of good practices"
the audience will have the opportunity to discover its features and functionalities. Public procurement practitioners from 3 different Member States will then present their practical solutions and concrete results in the following areas:
Join the high-level representatives of the European territorial associations, regional policy practitioners and other experts to discuss the next steps of the #CohesionAlliance, launched at the European Week of Regions and Cities to promote a strong and effective cohesion policy for all regions beyond 2020.
The event will also provide an opportunity to discuss some of the key ideas which emerged from workshops of the #EURegionsWeek on the future of EU Cohesion Policy. Register to event 11C137 and join the Alliance on 11 October, 17:00-18:30.
This yearly competition honours Europe's most inspiring projects supported by EU Cohesion Policy and your vote is decisive for the Public Choice Award!
The project that gets the most votes via all voting channels (this site, social media, event app) will receive the ‘Public Choice Award’ during the RegioStars Awards ceremony together with all winners, so make sure to cast your vote and spread the word!
Deadline to vote is 9th October midnight Brussels time: www.regiostars.eu
Discover now the 130 workshops, networking events and project visits organised in Brussels as part the 15th European Week of Regions and Cities (9-12 October 2017)!
Under the headline 'Regions and cities working for a better future’, the programme tackles three main themes: Building resilient regions and cities – #LocalResilience; Regions and cities as change agents – #TakeAction; Sharing knowledge to deliver results – #SharingKnowledge. 28 partnerships of regions and cities, 14 Directorates-General of the European Commission, several networks, associations and other institutions have partnered up for it. The Opening session takes place on 9th October in the European Parliament.
Browse through the programme and register online!
Deadline for registration 29 September 2017!
In 2017, the European Week of Regions and Cities goes local and contributes to the discussion on the future of Europe with its local events. The objective of these local events is going local, listening and reporting back to Brussels on citizens’ concerns and proposals on what the EU should be(come).
Join the debate, contribute via our short survey and participate in one of the local events organized by our event partners around Europe.
The European Commission's Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy is encouraging journalism students from all Member States to communicate on real life projects co-funded by the European Regional Development and Cohesion Funds.
This year, and for the first time, the European Commission is conducting a competition amongst media students across Europe. The lucky winners will be offered a chance to come to Brussels as a part of the media programme of the European Week of Regions and Cities. Hotel and accommodation for the winners will be paid for by the organisers.
This competition is a great opportunity for future journalists to work together with the Brussels accredited media corps covering the European Week!
NEW and SIMPLIFIED allocation platform. Click here to apply
Deadline for submitting applications: 10 September.
Watch our short clip to find out what partners and participants said about #EURegionsWeek last year and get ready for this October 2017! Interested in how regions and cities can work for a better future, improve their #LocalResilience , #TakeAction for change, whilst #SharingKnowledge to deliver results? Come back on this website on Monday 10 July to discover our online programme of workshops and register!
Partner regions and cities, Meeting Place partners and several European Commission DGs met this morning with the European Week organisers – the European Commission Regional Policy DG and the European Committee of the Regions – to prepare an exciting and innovative programme for the event's 15th edition. Partners and organisers will be now finalising the details until registration starts on 10 July.
This year, the European Committee of the Regions and the DG Regional and Urban policy join forces with 13 other European Commission DGs, over 170 regions and cities grouped in 28 regional partnerships, and a number of other stakeholders to put together an interesting program for the European Week of Regions and Cities. The selected workshops cover all the event themes and address topical issues around the EU Cohesion Policy. Discover the full list of partners!
Online registration for participants will open on Monday 10 July.
Applications to become a partner of the 15th European Week of Regions and Cities closed on 31 March. The event organisers will now screen through the applications received and select the best. Results will be made public on this website beginning of May.
Some regions and cities have expressed their needs to find or join a regional partnership. Have a look at our final partner search overview and get in touch. Application to become a partner of the European Week of Regions and Cities 2017 closes on 31 March.
30 students from the EU Member States and non-EU countries will be selected to attend the European Week of Regions and Cities Master Class in Brussels from 8 to 12 October 2017.
Run as part of the University programme, the Master Class is a unique format to discuss recent research on European regional and urban development and EU Cohesion Policy, and enable PhD students and early career researchers to exchange views and network with policy makers, EU officials and senior academics. The focus this year is on EU Cohesion Policy’s implementation, the debate about its future post-2020 and EU and international research programmes and projects.
The Master Class is organised and led by the European Commission, DG for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO), the EU Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the Regional Studies Association (RSA) in cooperation with the European Regional Science Association (ERSA) and the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP).
At least 21 regions/cities are looking for a partner to complete a partnership or would like to join a regional consortium. Have a look at our partner search results and get in touch with the region(s) of your choice. Still looking for partners though? Share your needs online via our partner search survey. The deadline is extended to 15 March and results will be published in March on a weekly basis.
If you are looking for partners to set up a regional partnership, please fill in our Partner search form by 22 February. We will then publish the information on this website. This tool should facilitate the setting up of regional consortia whilst helping interested parties to get in contact with each other.
The European Week of Regions and Cities– the world's largest event dedicated to local development, coorganised by the European Committee of the Regions and the European Commission – is now a 'Brussels' Ambassador'. The Brussels Capital Region has rewarded the event with the Ambassador prize recognising its contribution to uphold Brussels' image. The award has been handed to the European Committee of the Regions and to the European Commission on 31 January in the course of a gala dinner held at the BOZAR theatre. More
The call for applications to become a partner of the European Week of Regions and Cities is open. Interested? Please read carefully all instructions in the Guide for event partners 2017 before applying online by 31 March. Check our 'become a partner' section for application forms and contacts.
Are you ready to embark for the next European Week of Regions and Cities? To discover the themes of 2017 and get involved in the preparation of the 15th edition of this annual rendez-vous of regional and local practitioners, take part in the official #EURegionsWeek 2017 kick-off meeting. Organised at the European Committee of the Regions' premises in Brussels on 19 January, the meeting (11:00-12:00) will kick off the application procedure for becoming an event's partner. Please register online by 13 January noon.
The event will also be web streamed.
Director-General Marc Lemaître (DG REGIO, European Commission) and Secretary-General Jiří Buriánek (CoR) officially kicked-off the preparation of 15th European Week of Regions and Cities. Under the headline 'Regions and Cities working for a better future', candidate partners have now until 31 March to submit their application.
Details about conditions of participation and contact details are featured in the European Week of Regions and Cities guide for event partners. For the application forms and overall timeline, please check our become a partners' section.
The Proceedings of the European Week of Regions and Cities 2016 are now available. The publication is a compendium of workshops and other events held in Brussels last October as part of the European Week. It also includes an evaluation of the event and a report on media coverage. The proceedings are in electronic format only (no printed copies). Check also our reporting website, a pilot project conducted with a selection of workshops to report on the 14th European Week, to get an insight into the 2016 event. This style may become the sole reporting tool for the 15th European Week of Regions and Cities.
With this pilot project, the organisers of the European Week of Regions and Cities (the European Commission's DG for Regional and Urban Policy and the European Committee of the Regions) are testing a new approach to online reporting. Twenty-one workshops from the European Week have been selected to become part of this website, which will be completed in December 2016. The classic 'book' of proceedings (a compendium of all workshops) will be available only in PDF this year, and if this pilot project is successful, there will be no further 'book' version as of 2017, either in print or PDF form. Instead, there will be a comprehensive report on a dedicated event reporting website.
Check out, share and give your feedback on our mini-site – we look forward to hearing your thoughts! (CORfirstname.lastname@example.org)
The European Week is over, but learning on EU affairs continues with the Massive Open Online Course on EU funding! The European Committee of the Regions now launches its second MOOC for regional and local practitioners. This year's topic is the EU budget: How does it work? How to access funding? What is the difference between EFSI and ESI Funds, what are the MFF and H2020? If you are interested in getting EU funding, and in the future post 2020 EU budget, then join the free online course and register now!
Co-created together with the European Investment Bank and the European Commission – Regional & Urban Policy and Budget – the course starts on 31 October and will bring you through an online six-week multimedia programme, with videos, factsheets, infographics and web-streamed live debates. You will have access to rich information from EU experts, academics, practitioners and regional and local authorities. Studying time is about two hours per week. The course material will remain available online until 31 July 2017. Completion of 80% of the course will give the right to a "certificate of achievement". Watch the trailer
Read our online daily report to get an impression of what happened on Monday. Browse our pictures from our gallery and share it on social media!