An Investment Plan for Europe proposed by the new Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker is widely recognised as one of the biggest public-private endeavours in history. As such, its success depends on a strong commitment from the stakeholders from both public and private sector.

The Investment Plan explicitly mentions the role regional authorities play in supporting or managing the investment projects, making finance reach the real economy and improving the investment environment. Regions and cities need to bring in their knowhow to channel public and private money (including the European Structural and Investment Funds) to viable projects with real added value for the European economy. In terms of improving the investment environment, all levels of government have a part to play in providing greater regulatory predictability, removing barriers to investment and creating the optimal framework conditions.

The conference held by the Committee of the Regions on April 15th gathered policy makers…

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The two-day conference of the EU funded project Atopica is taking place in Brussels on March 5-6th, 2015.


A group of cellular and molecular biologists, immunologists, allergists, dermatologists, physicists, climate and air quality experts and land use specialists joint their efforts in a cross-disciplinary approach for the first time in Europe tackling the connection between pollen-related allergies, global and regional climate, air quality and land use and how to meet the health and environmental challenges of invasive alien species (IAS) invading Europe and other related issues.

You are invited to join the Atopica team at their conference and learn about the combined impact of changes in climate, land use and air pollution on the highly invasive weed Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) and its consequences on health.

The Atopica conference will take place in Brussels, Belgium, at the Committee of the Regions, with the consortium reporting to journalists, policy makers, members of…

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Representatives of one of Croatian Regions Office newest members, Bjelovar-Bilogora County, visited Brussels in the last week of January to learn more about social economy and entrepreneurship and find potential project partners.

During their visit, Mrs Đurđica Ištef Benšić, the Bjelovar-Bilogora County prefect deputee, Mr Stjepan Kos, the civil society officer at the County, and Ms Slobodanka Čalić, project manager at the County's regional development agency, attended several conferences and seminars on fair trade, social economy and entrepreneurship, civil society and youth issues.

They have also visited Croatian MEP Mr Jozo Radoš at the European Parliament and learned new information and possibilities from his point of view as well.

The last meeting of the visit was reserved for meeting with Ms Jaroslawa Suchecka, the Head of Lubuskie Region Brussels Office who gave us an overview of social economy projects done in her region.

With a quite tight schedule, there was…

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We attended the opening ceremony of European Capital of Culture that took place in Mons, on Saturday, January 24th. An estimated 100.000 people enjoyed various performances, exhibitions, shows and concerts scattered throughout the centre of this former industrial town. The project involved a lot of infrastructural investments: the new theatre and a new modern art gallery were built while some of the buildings were refurbished and turned into museums, galleries and other public spaces intended to host cultural events. Even though, some of the buildings were not yet finished or opened for public, plenty of happenings at different Mons locations forced the crowds to move around, giving the overall impression of a lot of movement and action.

The representatives of the European Capital of Culture project Varaždin2020 attended the opening ceremony by invitation from Mons2015 team following their meeting in October 2014. The main ceremony took place in St.…

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On January 21st, the Committee of the Regions and DG REGIO organised a meeting with regional representatives in Brussels to present the ideas and plans for this year's edition of European week of regions and cities. After the foreword by Laurent Thieule, Head of Communication, Press and Events Directorate at the Committee of the Regions, who chaired the meeting, word was given to Walter Deffaa, DG REGIO Director General, who spoke about last year's successful OPEN DAYS. 

Last year OPEN DAYS attracted over 5.500 participants from 192 partner regions and cities. 93% of the participants evaluated the debates and workshops to be excellent or good, so changing of the winning formula does not seem necessary. However, to keep things interesting, some novelties to the concept will be introduced this year.

First of all, Regio Stars AwardCeremony will be an integrated part of the OPEN DAYS programme, taking place on…

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Organised by Ms Tijana Tufek, a student of the International School for Protocol and Diplomacy, the Cultural Night Croatia gathered a mixed audience of both Croatian and other European nationalities. The event offered an opportunity for networking while enjoying Croatian wines, cheese and delicious home-made fritule. 

The materials highlighting Croatian Regions Office members' touristic potential and investment opportunities were displayed at the venue.

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Croatian Regions Office participated at the CoR's Lunchtime Briefing on European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Social Fund (ESF).

After a foreword by Wolfgang Petzold from the Committee of the Regions, the ERDF and ESF were presented by Lena Andersson Pench from DG Regional and Urban Policy and Peter Stub Jørgensen from DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.

ERDF

So far, 18 countries have finished negotiations and have all operational programmes (OPs) adopted, which makes for 63% of all OPs. Summary of the programmes is available here.
This is a very good result achieved thanks to the efforts from the Commission, the Member States and the regions. There is another 10% of OPs in the so-called carry-over phase for which the negotiations have been finished. The main issues in the negotiations have been making more result-oriented OPs. Indicators and baselines were disussed and reaffirmed. The goal is for the adopted OPs…

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European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) is a cooperation instrument established in 2006 by Regulation (EC) 1082/2006. It allows public entities of Member States (two states minimum) to get together under a new entity with full legal personality.

The meeting that took place in Brussels on January 15th was aimed to gather all of the regional representatives representing the regions involved in EGTCs in one place to better exchange contacts and information. It was initiated by the Representation Office of Lower Silesia and the EGTC team at the Committee of the Regions and had gathered around 20 regional representatives. Croatian Regions Office attended on behalf of Varaždin and Zagreb County, the signatories of CETC - Route 65.

Mr Alfonso Alcolea from the CoR who chaired the meeting introduced the current state of play, major achievements in 2014 and the work plan and prospects for 2015. There are currently 50 EGTCs in…

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