Brussels hosts the 15th edition of the European Week of Regions and Cities

From 9 to 12 October, the European Week of Region and Cities is organised in Brussels. The capital will welcome some 6,000 officials from regional and city administrations, as well as many experts and academics. The headline of this year: “Regions and Cities working for a better future”

A common initiative: over 200 partners

The European Week of Regions and Cities is jointly organised by the EU Committee of the Regions and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Development, better known as DG REGIO. However, the Week is a truly joint effort: over 200 partners are selected each year to organise seminars and events. Partners include regions and cities, of course, but also companies, financial institutions, international associations and academic organisations.

The importance of Regions & Cities

During the four-day event, some 6,000 participants and 600 speakers gather in the capital to discuss regional and urban development and the fundamental role of Regions and Cities in European policy-making. They also get an opportunity to showcase their capacity to generate growth and employment and implement the EU’s cohesion policy. In total, the European Week encompasses no less than 130 workshops, networking events and project visits. The event is covered by 300 journalists from all over Europe.

Tackling today’s challenges

This year is a special edition as the Week celebrates its 15th birthday. The perfect moment to look back and to look forward, as the debate on the future of the EU was kick-started by the anniversary of the Rome Treaty earlier this year. The Week will give the regions and cities a platform to discuss how they can contribute to the future of Europe and to participate in the debate on its future.

Working for a better future

The European Regions and Cities face significant challenges: globalisation, automation in the workplace, the integration of migrant populations, to name but a few. Challenges that can become opportunities, provided that the right policy framework is created.

The headline ‘Regions and Cities working for a better future’ covers three main themes:

  • Building resilient regions and cities - #LocalResilience
  • Regions and cities as change agents - #TakeAction
  • Sharing knowledge to deliver results - #SharingKnowledge

Regions and cities versus globalisation

The #LocalResilience theme will focus on the effects of globalisation on the economic and social fabric in regional and urban contexts. How will we respond to the (further) delocalisation of industries, the emergence of new, often underpaid service jobs, and the loss of low-skilled jobs? How can Regions and Cities foster change and become more resilient?

Future regional and urban EU policy

What can the EU do for the Regions and Cities and, vice versa, how are the regions and cities making effective contributions to the European project? The #TakeAction theme will also discuss the results so far, assess the performance and benefits of the EU cohesion policy, and its future beyond 2020.

Sharing knowledge to deliver results

The third strand of the Week focuses on the exchange of best practices and experiences related to programmes funded the European Structural Investments funds. Some key issues: administrative simplification, strengthening institutions and building capacity among administrations.

Discover the full programme here