The series ‘European Regional Debates’ was launched on Monday, 18th May 2015, with a first event on “Anti-corruption policy: a keystone to regional economic development”, with Cristi Danilet, Judge, Member of Superior Council of Magistracy, Romania, as keynote speaker. The event was organized by the European Academy of the Regions (EAR), in cooperation with the European Entrepreneur Magazine (EEM) and hosted at the SME Europe HQ.

Lilia Heitz, General Director of European Entrepreneur Magazine (EEM) and Nelu Neacsu, EAR Chairman of the Board, welcomed the audience and introduced the debate, which was moderated by Louis Delcart, Head of the EAR Department for Regional Development.

In his welcome address, Mr. Neacsu pointed out that “… 81% of Europeans think that too tight links between business and politics lead to corruption, 43% of European companies perceive corruption as a problem when doing business, and at least nine out of ten companies in the…

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Croatian Regions Office presented all of its members at this year's Festival of European Regions and Cities at the Committee of the Regions in the framework of Europe's Day celebrated in Brussels on May 9th.

Partners from Osijek-Baranja, Varaždin and Zagreb County, the City of Rijeka and Vidovec Municipality participated in person and were able to present their cities and regions to around 2 500 visitors and also have a look at what other regions have prepared. Presentations included touristic information, traditional food and drinks tastings and promotional materials give-aways.

The Committee of the regions also organised the presentation of political groups and entertainment - music, face-painting, photos of visitors in historic costumes.

This was an opportunity to make ourselves visible in Brussels, promote our activities, but also a chance for our members to experience the diversity of Europe.

You can view the official photos taken by Committee of the Regions in-house photographer…

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Croatian Regions Office attended the presentation of this new intergroup at the Committee of the Regions. Mr. José Antonio Monago, President of the Regional Government of Extremadura, presented the Intergroup and outlined the key issues which will be addressed by the Intergroup:

  • Cohesion Policy
  • Smart Specialization Strategies
  • Forum for Dialogue and Common Positions

Mr Monago was happy to report the intergroup has the support of Mr Markkula, the President of the Committee of the Regions and Ms Creţu, Commissioner for Regional Policy who expressed the wish to work closely with the Intergroup.

The support of different members of the CoR, from different political groups, was obvious by the fact that there were 34 members represented, from 4 political groups and 11 different countries.

Mr Monago was unanimously chosen as the intergroup's president.

A representative of DG Regio, Mr Niessler highlighted the importance of this intergroup and its objectives, and he provides…

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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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