On Saturday 6 May 2017, European institutions open their doors to celebrate the Europe Day. On this occasion, the European Committee of the Regions will celebrate Europe's diversity with a festival of regions and cities.

The excellence of EU regions and cities will be at the core of this 2017 edition with numerous stands offering innovative activities to interact with visitors; to show both the variety of regions and cities and their very specificity.


The public will also be invited to discover the European Union's Assembly of regional and local representatives and learn about its role and activities (5th floor: presentation of the European Committee of the Regions and information stand; stands of its political groups).

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On 29 March, the European Commission DG Mobility and Transport launched the European Transport Innovation Challenge 2017 for young transport innovators.

The EC will reward up to 12 young innovators aged 18-35 with an invitation to Strasbourg to attend the ITS Congress and Exhibition in June. The proposal does not necessarily have to be a fully researched project,  as the challenge is focused on creative ideas and inspirational thinking to improve transport and mobility in Europe (better mobility, better access to mobility, less pollution, less congestion, or more safety and security).

The deadline for application is 2 May.

Might you be interested, please find more information on: https://ec.europa.eu/transport/themes/research/challenge_en

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In Europe, cities and urban areas account for 70% of the population and provide the majority of the growth, innovation and jobs of the continent. However, even if the topic was in debate for decades, no special tool or framework was foreseen by the EU institutions before 2014, when the Latvian presidency of the Council took the matter forward. After extensive talks and consultations, the Riga Declaration of June 2015 officialised political support for the development of an Urban Agenda. 12 themes were selected in concertation with key stakeholders. For each of these themes, a partnership will be formed focusing on three aspects: better regulation, better use of financial instruments and better knowledge exchanges.

The first partnerships were set in November 2015 with Slovakia taking the lead on the topic of Housing. Belgium and France were in charge of Urban Poverty and the Netherlands led the Air quality programme, while…

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Commissioner Creţu held a meeting this Monday with the Brussels based regional representatives. The Commissioner reminded of the topics of the last meeting which were migration, urban agenda and simplification and announced this meeting’s topic: the future of Cohesion policy. She stated the importance of the discussion among all of the stakeholders to design a stronger policy and with that also a stronger Europe. Cohesion policy is one of the most visible policies and it is therefore very important to keep it despite current developments in the EU and criticism it faces, alongside with the numerous political changes in the rest of the world. Some criticism is indeed justified, especially when it comes to procedures that are too complicated, however, this means we should improve the policy and not abandon it. There are numerous examples of Cohesion Policy benefits which made possible infrastructure and development projects in regions who couldn’t…

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On Monday 7th, the Committee of the Regions held an event called “Investing in Europe: building a coalition of smart cities & regions towards a third industrial revolution”. The topic was based on the work of economic and social theorist Jeremy Rifkin, who was present in person to introduce the topic and to provide useful insight throughout the whole day.

Mr. Rifkin advocates that the previous growth model based on oil had its peak and is now in decline. That explains why growth and productivity are low and stagnating in the western world. The next economic model, based on new technologies that are now available and on a new economic paradigm based on the collaborative economy, is slowly taking shape under our eyes. The mechanisms laying underneath this new state of mind are based on a new assertion: Sharing is not dividing anymore, sharing is multiplying. As the internet sharing…

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While regional and local authorities are on the frontline of ambitious and sustainable development initiatives, they also often lack the funds and the resources to make them happen. This can have many causes: The own resources are too limited, the project are too local or too little to get attention from a private partner or to be eligible for a bank loan. That situation is even more regrettable that this kind of projects can have a very positive impact on the local communities.

In order to tackle the problem and to allow these projects to see the light, Citizenergy was created with the support of the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme in 2014. This is a platform offering alternative sources of funding to public initiatives in the field of renewable energy.

In its position paper, available here, Citizenergy outlines the different advantages of the existing platform and the crowdfunding methods for…

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The Circular economy is a concept referring to a consumption model based on the intelligent design and the reuse of materials. This model allows a greater efficiency in terms of resources availability and is relevant to the current efforts to diminish the Human footprint on the environment. The shift from a traditional way of using resources to the circular economy model is a priority for the EU, as the modernisation of our way to consume will have several positive consequences, such as the reduction of waste volume, the evolution towards a cleaner life environment and the development of efficient waste treatment infrastructures. There is a strong business case behind it which enables companies to make substantial economic gains and become more competitive. It delivers important energy savings and environmental benefits. It creates local jobs and opportunities for social integration. It is closely interlinked with key EU priorities on jobs and…

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The Creative Europe Programme was launched in 2013. It replaced and improved the previous MEDIA and cultures programmes. Under its current form and until 2020, its objectives are to safeguard, develop and promote European cultural and linguistic diversity and to promote Europe's cultural heritage and to strengthen the competitiveness of the European cultural and creative sectors, in particular of the audiovisual sector, with a view to promoting smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

As the programme is now halfway through its implementation, the Commission seeks to gather feedback that will be helpful to assess the relevance and the efficiency of the programme and what changes need to be made for its successor.

The questionnaire, which can only be completed online, is available here. Questions are available in PDFformat there in order to prepare the answers. Even if the questions are only available in English, feel welcome to answer in any of EU’s…

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