Open Days 2008  
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Deadline fast approaching for Regional Partnership applications

(10 March 2009) Friday, March 13 is the deadline for regional partnership applications for Open Days 2009. The applications should be submitted (in both electronic (CD-Rom) and paper versions) in a sealed envelope to the attention of OPEN DAYS, Committee of the Regions, Rue Belliard 101, 1040 Brussels, by Friday 13 March 2009.

More information about Open Days University

(04 March 2009) A new element of Open Days 2009 will the Open Days University. A series of lectures and moderated panels with renowned academics and researchers will be organised by DG REGIO and the CoR on the basis of suggestions put forward by all participating regions and partners. There is no official call for papers for this part of the Open Days. A selected number of academics/researchers will be invited to hold a number of joint lectures and seminars on the four themes of Open Days (cohesion policy, territorial cooperation, innovation and climate). The Open Days University programme will be announced in mid-April. For more information, please contact Elisa Roller in DG REGIO.

OPEN DAYS 2009 kicked-off

(12 December 2008) Gerhard Stahl, Secretary-General of the Committee ef the Regions (pictured left), and Dirk Ahner, Director-General of the European Commission's Regional Policy DG, launched today the preparation of the OPEN DAYS 2009 (05-08 October). More than 150 participants, most of them from the regional offices in Brussels but as well representatives from private enterprises and banks were informed about the event's 2009 key themes and rules of participation. Under the headline "Global challenges, European responses", the seminars will cover themes related to regional responses to the economic crisis, climate change, territorial cooperation and the impact and future of EU cohesion policy.

How to apply to become a Regional Partnership?

  • Information Pack
  • Instructions
  • Regional Partnership Application Form
  • Template for Regional Partnership Workshops
  • Template for Local Events
  • Partner search

How to apply for the Meeting Place? 

  • Information Pack 
  • Instructions
  • Meeting Place Application Form 
  • Template for Meeting Place Workshops

The applications should be submitted (in both electronical (CDRom) and paper versions) in a sealed envelope to the attention of OPEN DAYS, Committee of the Regions, Rue Belliard 101, 1040 Brussels, by Friday 13 March 2009.

PowerPoint presentation

OPEN DAYS 2008 Report 

(13 November 2008) A 16-page report including photos on the OPEN DAYS 2008 has been published today on this page.


(28 October 2008) The date for Open Days 2009 has been set for October 5-8, 2009. Details of Open Days 2009 will be posted in early spring 2009.

OPEN DAYS on 'You Tube'

(23 October 2008) Some video messages of OPEN DAYS 2008 speakers have been uploaded to "You Tube". You can listen to José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, Danuta Hübner, European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Luc Van den Brande, President of the Committee of the Regions, Michel Barnier, French Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, and Alain Juppé, former French Prime Minister and Mayor of Bordeaux. Comments of several OPEN DAYS participants on the event can be found here

OPEN DAYS 2008 closed

(9 October) Around 1,000 participants attended today the Closing Session of the OPEN DAYS 2008 in the European Parliament (EP). The audience was addressed by EP President Has-Gert Pöttering, Luc Vanden Brande, President of the Committee of the Regions (CoR), Danuta Hübner, Commissioner for Regional Policy, Günter Verheugen, Vice-President of the European Commission, Michel Delebarre, Vice-President of the CoR, and Karl-Heinz Florenz, Chairman of the EP's Committee on Climate Change. Speeches can be found here.

Expert debate on cohesion policy post-2013

(9 October) Around 200 participants attended today a panel debate among cohesion policy experts organised by the Euroepan Commission. Jointly chaired by Katarina Mathernova, Regional Policy DG, and Lenia Samuel, DG for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, panellists inculded Gregersen Preben, Danish Enterprise and Construction Authority, Cathy Presland, Welsh European Funding Office, Peter Wostner, Slovenian Government Office for Local Self-Government and Regional Policy, Iva Šolcová, Czech Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Susanna Rafalzik, Austrian Federal Chancellery, Piotr Zuber, Department of Structural Policy Coordination, Poland, and Prof John Bachtler, European Policy Research Centre, Strathclyde University, Glasgow.

Two workshops on climate change

(8 October) In January 2008 the European Commission published the Communication “Climate Action – Energy for a changing world”, a package that seeks to ensure the sustainability of the planet, provide new business opportunities for European companies, and improve security of energy supply by encouraging a shift to renewable energies. The target for 2020 is 20% reduction in greenhouse gases and an increase in renewable energy use to 20% of total energy consumption. Sounds like squaring the circle?

The first workshop, organised by Green Motors for Growth seeks to promote innovative examples of renewable energy sources and launch a debate on the proposal for a Directive on renewable energies.

The second, organised by Veolia, will invite participating panel members to reflect on the central question: how can the EU provide practical assistance and facilitate the voluntary initiatives of cities aiming to reduce their carbon footprint and meet their sustainability target.

The European Ombudsman: What can he do for regions and cities?

(8 October) The European Ombudsman explains his services to representatives from regional and local offices, businesses, NGOs and other associations and discusses examples of cases he has dealt with. The services of SOLVIT will be presented as an on-line problem solving network in which EU Member States work together to solve within ten weeks problems caused by the misapplication of Internal Market law by public authorities. The Petitions Committee of the European Parliament will explain the petitions system as another way of obtaining redress at the European level.

In the European Parliament today: The ‘Future of Cohesion Policy’

(7 October) Jan Olbrycht, Vice-chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Regional Development (REGI, pictured left), and Michael Schneider, Chairman of the Committee of the Regions ‘Territorial Cohesion’ committee, discussed with 700 OPEN DAYS’ participants on the ‘future of cohesion policy beyond 2013’. During a lively debate, speakers confirmed that cohesion policy should continue to be at the heart of the Union’s solidarity with the poorest regions while addressing all of them, that the reform process should begin timely and less bureaucracy as regards the management of the funds would be welcomed by the beneficiaries.

More information and photos of the event

Small and medium size entreprises for cohesion

(7 October) How do SMEs view regional development? What is the impact of cohesion policy on SMEs and micro-enterprises and how can it strengthen their competitiveness in rural and urban areas? Speakers include Danuta Hübner, European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Luc Van den Brande, President of the Committee of the Regions and Jean-Marie Beaupuy, MEP. The exchange of views between politicians at local, national and European level with owners and managers of SME's and experts from SME organisations, including their proposals regarding the Green Book, promises to be interesting. Plus d'information sur le workshop

Regions working together on sustainable healthcare systems

(7 October) European healthcare systems are under mounting pressure to respond to the challenges of ageing population, changing patterns of diseases, citizens’ rising expectations, mobility of patients and a shortage of healthcare professionals. Chronic diseases and conditions linked to lifestyle are rising, and citizens and policy-makers are more and more concerned about “patient safety”. European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou, in charge of public health, is among the speakers on this complex subject. Workshop detail

Photos and Videos of 6 October

Videos of 6 October


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