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Panorama - Stories from Regional and urban policy

In Focus

Relive the EU macro regional strategies week 2023 in Brussels

Who would have bet on bringing 150 stakeholders for the EU Macro Regional Strategies Week #EUMRSWeek in Brussels and online while the SeaFood Fair edition was happening in the same city at the same time? Nobody would have dared, but the Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy – European Commission!

“Building Europe with Local Councillors” - BELC is the initiative bringing Europe closer to people

The European Commission launched an unprecedented alliance placing local authorities at the core of the European public sphere. Spread the word, the call for application is open.

EU index provides a guide to improving regional competitiveness

While the competitiveness of the EU’s underperforming regions has increased over the years, a closer look shows that wide regional differences remain, hampering Europe’s overall economic growth and development.

Handbook of Territorial and Local Development Strategies

Policymakers and managing authorities promoting the growth of non-urban areas have a new tool at their disposal: the recently published Handbook of Territorial and Local Development Strategies. Both the handbook and a new cohesion policy objective will contribute to achieving sustainable growth in all EU regions and bringing Europe closer to citizens.

Interreg offers expert policy input for green and smart regions

Warmińsko-Mazurskie region in Poland made a green shift in its regional development policy with the help of Interreg Europe. Find out how the input of experts from other corners of Europe helped to improve the region’s policy.

How the EU delivers on a social Europe that is fair, inclusive and full of opportunity

The European Union is committed to ensuring that people remain centre stage of its policies and that no one is left behind. Together with the Member States, the EU is vested with guaranteeing equality and non-discrimination and ensuring social and territorial cohesion. In practical terms, this translates into supporting high levels of employment and skills, modernising labour markets, training and social protection systems, eradicating poverty and addressing social exclusion and improving public health. That is what inclusive growth in the EU is all about.

Meet Spain’s award-winning ERDF projects

The Spanish annual communication event on regional policy and European funds – Acto anual de política regional y fondos europeos en España – is hosted by the Spanish general secretary of European funds of the Ministry of Finance. It rewards the achievements and best communication practices of projects co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), that strengthen economic, social and territorial cohesion across European regions. The awards ceremony was held in Madrid on 29 November.

Visit of European regions to Japan: Exploring new ways for cooperation in regional innovation

A delegation from six European regions visited different Japanese prefectures last November in the framework of the EU-Japan Region-to-Region Innovation Cooperation project. The project is managed by the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG Regio) and the Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) service of the European Commission.

Partnership principle underpins cohesion funding and synergies with other policies

The partnership principle acts as a reference to empower the European Commission and national authorities to jointly manage EU funds. Partnership Agreements (PA) and a new forum for partners put the principle into action, ensuring that all spheres of society are involved in the implementation of cohesion funding.

Bridging gaps with EU-funds: The Inauguration of the Pelješac Bridge in Croatia

As of 26 July 2022, the Pelješac Bridge, the largest ever EU investment in infrastructure in Croatia, finally connects the region of Southern Dalmatia with the rest of the country's mainland. The bridge will cut travel time by 37 minutes along the Adriatic coastline, improving people’s lives and increasing economic opportunities for the region.

Cohesion Policy Will Continue to Invest in the Rural Areas: First EU Rural Pact Conference

On 15-16 June 2022 more than 450 participants representing all EU levels of governance and various types of stakeholders took part in the first ever Rural Pact conference.

Inform EU in Malta: building a closer network of EU communicators

Uncertain times prove that networks like Inform EU are more important than ever. They keep communication channels open, combat misinformation and provide hope.

Improving the health and well-being of the Baltic Sea Region’s ageing population

Rafał Rolka of the Let’s communicate! Project talked with Dr. Ülla-Karin Nurm, Director at the Secretariat of the Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being, about her opinion on the challenges, needs and activities to address when promoting active and healthy ageing in the Baltic Sea Region.

EU funds support Poland’s energy security

The EU is supporting the improvement of Poland’s gas supply security through the modernisation of gas transmission pipelines and the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

A new strategy for the outermost regions

The newly adopted Commission’s communication ‘Putting people first, securing sustainable and inclusive growth, unlocking the potential of the EU’s outermost regions’ sets out new priorities and commitments towards the outermost regions through a five-pillar strategy’

EU funding in action to help integrate people with a migrant background

Amidst the rising needs of persons fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Commission responded quickly by putting forward a guide to the use of EU regional funding to integrate migrants into their new communities.

Ruse, Campania, Western Macedonia: three regions, three stories of EU-enabled achievements with “Europe in my region”

Urban greening in Ruse, shaping the future of culinary arts in Campania, bringing digital into the classrooms in Western Macedonia: under the “Europe in my region” campaign, each initiative, in each region, is at the core of a communication action during the whole month of May.

REGIO’s sustainable, inclusive, beautiful EU Open Day

With the EUOpenday back after two years of pandemic, DG Regio interacted again with the public on its support for sustainable and inclusive projects at local level.

A better transition from school to work in the Baltic Sea Region

Difficulties in education and entering the labour market are a challenge for many young people. The European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) addresses this issue from the very beginning.

Citizen participation in Cohesion policy – an opportunity for Europe

In this third overview of projects involving local people in designing, monitoring and assessing use of EU cohesion funds, discover six more initiatives working with communities to shape cohesion policy to benefit their region. We have also launched a new call for proposals to engage more citizens in the design and implementation of Cohesion Policy – deadline 30 April.

European Funds for Internal Security: more than EUR 500 million to achieve a more secure Europe during the 2020–2027 period

The European Funds for Internal Security aim to achieve a more secure Europe and strengthen external borders to achieve effective immigration management. Three European Funds, AMIF - Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, BMVI - Instrument for Financial Support for Border Management and Visa Policy, and ISF - Internal Security Fund, are responsible for providing Spain with the best tools so that all organisations and institutions in charge of security can carry out their work in the most optimal way.

Kohesio promotes visibility and transparency of Cohesion funding

The new Kohesio knowledge base of cohesion policy-funded projects provides publicly available data on EU investment to support policymaking and tackle disinformation.

Showcasing the EU dimension to local solutions in the region of Attica

Increased road safety for pedestrians, enhanced equipment for firefighters and a new health centre are at the core of a one-month communication action under the -“Europe in my region” campaign.

San Marino welcomes inclusion in EUSAIR

« It is a great honour for me to express, on behalf of the Government and myself, our great satisfaction at the inclusion of the Republic of San Marino in the EUSAIR as the tenth participating country. » says Mr Luca Beccari, Minister of Foreign Affairs of San Marino. « I would also like to express my gratitude for the support we received to become an active member of this cooperation and territorial cohesion platform promoted and supported by the European Union. »

How to engage citizens in shaping Cohesion Policy action

This is the second of the three articles on projects involving citizens in the design, monitoring and assessment of how EU cohesion funds are spent in their region. Discover six more projects, and how you can be among the first to hear about DG REGIO’s next steps to enhance citizen engagement.

Three ways the European Investment Bank fosters cohesion across the EU

From digitalisation to greening cities, here are three stories of how the EIB is boosting regional economic development, reducing disparities between EU regions, and improving living standards for all.

Slovenia’s Tehnopark Celje brings science closer to people

A building that once housed an iconic former department store in the centre of Slovenia’s third largest city has come back to life with a fresh appearance and new content to become the country’s largest park for promoting science, technology and innovation and a place where science lives.

Cyprus: Nicosia inaugurates Eleftheria Square after EU-funded facelift

Central Nicosia’s Eleftheria Square is set to be officially inaugurated on 10 December following an extensive makeover that was co-funded by the EU, marking a major milestone in efforts to revitalise the Cypriot capital.

Meet the projects helping citizens to shape Cohesion Policy

Eighteen pioneering projects are empowering citizens to discover, design, monitor and assess how EU cohesion funds are spent in their region. Here, we take a closer look at this initiative promoting government-citizen partnership, and six of its innovative projects.

The Conference of Presidents of the Outermost Regions: a fruitful exchange to bring forward the new Commission’s Communication

The presidents of Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte, Réunion, Saint-Martin, the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands met from 17 to 20 November to discuss the Commission’s proposals for a stronger partnership with the EU’s most remote regions.

REGIOSTARS finalists shuttle Europe towards a greener future

To celebrate the European Year of Rail, green mobility was the topic of this year’s REGIOSTARS Awards – the annual competition organised by DG REGIO. The five finalists in this category are helping to revolutionise transport in Europe and harmonise the network as a whole.

Changes to EU managed fund rules cut red tape

The Common Provisions Regulation (CPR), which sets out common rules for EU shared management funds, has been made simpler and more adaptable, allowing EU countries and regions to access and use funding faster when there are unexpected challenges. Requirements for better communication and transparency will benefit citizens.

Together for Recovery: European Week of Regions and Cities focuses on resilient future

With lively debates, a citizens’ dialogue and more than 300 sessions featuring examples of EU-funded initiatives, the European Week of Regions and Cities established a vision of a resilient, green, digital, and inclusive future for all.

The New European Bauhaus 2021: Prize Ceremony & Winners’ Exhibition

The European Commission awarded the first NEB prizes on 16 September in Brussels. Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms and Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth handed the awards to the 20 laureates. Re-watch the ceremony and meet the winners by visiting the virtual exhibition of their works.

EU anti-fraud on-line resource promotes transparency and clean governance

Cohesion policy is the main investment tool of the EU and funds have increased significantly during and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. More funds mean more possibilities for investment but also more for potential for fraud. Managing Authorities in Member States are the main bodies responsible for preventing and tackling fraud related to Cohesion policy projects but they often lack the resources or know-how to do so effectively. To help them improve fraud detection and prevention, the European Commission launched the on-line EU Funds Anti-Fraud Knowledge and Resource Centre on 27 May.

EEA and Norway Grants support Cohesion Policy in making Europe stronger

The EEA and Norway Grants represent Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway’s commitment to stimulate more sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe, promote bilateral cooperation and tackle shared challenges. The funding period 2014-2021 represents the most ambitious effort to date by the EEA (European Economic Area)/EFTA (European Free Trade Association) States resulting in a total budget of €2.8 billion dedicated to strengthening bilateral relations and reducing social and economic inequalities in Europe.

An open-and-shut case on cross-border COVID-19 restrictions

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has gripped the world since March 2020, has created specific legal and administrative challenges for the EU’s cross-border regions. A recent study, entitled ‘The effects of COVID-19 induced border closures on cross-border regions’, analyses the impact of the restrictions implemented by Member States on around 150 million Europeans during the first three months of the crisis.