This year's EU Sustainable Energy Week is taking place in Brussels and across Europe from June 15th to 19th. It will be an opportunity for different stakeholders to showcase their sustainable energy commitments and compare results.

The European Commission invites all interested parties to be a part of it by organising an Energy Day, attending one of the hundreds of events taking place throughout Europe during June 2015 or applying for a Sustainable Energy Europe Award. The awards are presented to successful energy projects in three categories: renewable energy, energy efficiency and cities, communities and regions. Award eligibility and criteria are listed here, the first evaluation date is January 31st, the second February 28th. 

To be updated on the newest EUSEW information, you can use the EUSEW website from which you can also subscribe to the newsletter or follow EUSEW on social networks.

As of 2015 Croatian Regions Office will represent Bjelovar-Bilogora County and Međimurje County in addition to our existing members. The delegations from both counties have visited Croatian Regions Office in December to get acquainted with the work we do and discuss their own needs and expectations from this collaboration. 

The County Prefects, Mr Damir Bajs for Bjelovar-Bilogora and Mr Matija Posavec for Međimurje County have used this opportunity to sign the letter of intent to outline the specifics of the collaboration which was presented and voted on later in the year at the respective county councils.

Croatian Regions Office welcomes the new members and is looking forward to working with them to help them gain more visibility and establish new partnerships in the EU network of regions.

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In December, Croatian Regions Office, Varaždin and Bjelovar-Bilogora County, visited the Assembly of European Regions. The acting Secretary General, Mr Mathieu Mori, and Ms Regine Kramer, Coordinator for Member relations, explained the structure of the AER, how it works for the regions and presented the benfits opportunities included in the AER membership.


The visit also happily coincided with the recent appointment of the new AER Youth Regional Network President, Mr Mario Žuliček, who is from Varaždin County. Congratulations!

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The Town of Lepoglava from Varaždin County was assigned the recognition of European Town of Sport for the year 2015. The allocation of these recognitions are done by ACES Europe (European Capitals of Sport Association), according to the principles of responsibility and ethics, being aware that sport is a factor of aggregation of the society, improvement in the quality of life, psycho-physical well-being and complete integration within social classes in the community.

In the category of cities with a population of less than 25 000, Lepoglava was recognized as a community with a very strong sports tradition, including various kinds of sports activities and aiming at all population groups, and thus became the first Croatian city to ever win this award.

Croatian Regions Office was proud to host the Lepoglava delegation before the award ceremony at the European Parliament in Brussels and discuss their plans to advance their sports infrastructure…

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On November 13th the Croatian Regions Office attended the event organized by the City of Vienna at Vienna House Brussels. The event's main goal was to present the new CENTRAL EUROPE Programme for the period 2014 - 2020 and to give the participants an opportunity to share experience from the previous programme in the 2007 - 2013 period. As Croatia has newly joined the programme, the Croatian attendees were warmly welcomed and gained very useful advice from more experienced programme participants. The Programme was presented by Christiane Breznik, Head of Unit at the City of Vienna's Department for EU-Strategy and Economic Development.

The new programme covers 9 countries, 76 regions and cities and 146 million citizens. The total budget for projects will be 231 million Euros from the European Regional Development Fund with the co-financing rate for Croatia up to 85%. Beneficiaries can be public authorities, regional development and innovation…

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Tourism sector is the EU's third largest economic sector and as such has a great impact on Europe's economy and employment. For countries like Croatia it is one of the main economic branches and is therefore an imperativ to constantly develop new tools and services to keep the tourism industry competitive. The market is ever-changing, the consumers' needs have expanded, the rise of the ICT sector creates new possibilities... Having all this in mind, it is obvious that today's tourism needs diverse services, diverse employees and diverse projects for its development.

The European Commission has published a guide on various funding instruments available for the tourism sector. The guide focuses on practical questions: type of tourism-related actions eligible for funding; type and level of funding; who can apply and how to apply. It also contains information on the type of projects funded through previous programmes.

The guide can be downloaded…

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An updated broadband investment guide was released by the European Commission in order to help local, regional and national authorities in bringing the fast internet to their communities. The handbook is designed to give advice on planning and conducting broadband development projects, informs on the available financial instruments, including, but not limited to, European Structural and Investment Funds and instructs how to involve citizens in these kinds of projects, establish a multiregional cooperation and monitor and evaluate the broadband investment.

The guide is available here.

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The new European Commission started its 5-year term on November 1st. These are the main areas they plan to work on:

  • boosting growth and creating jobs in Europe by implementing a €300 billion investment programme which would have to be approved by the Parliament and the national governments 
  • planning new initiatives to help companies raise money for investment
  • reforming the banking sector by requiring very large banks to separate their risky trading activities from their deposit-taking business and also by coming up with new rules for card payments fees
  • designing plans to end roaming charges as well as new agreement on data protection rules
  • establishing new goals for emissions, renewables and energy savings for 2030 and designing measures to reduce EU's energy dependency
  • designing novel food and stricter air quality standards, measures to reduce the use of plastic bags and legislation on cultivating genetically modified crops
  • continuing of the EU's trade talks (notably the Transatlantic Trade…

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