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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Following the European Council’s conclusions of October 2013 which focused on the digital economy as an imperative for growth and jobs and called for an action from the EU to provide the right framework conditions for a single market for big data and cloud computing, the European Commission has adopted its first strategy to promote the data-driven economy in the EU.

Seeing that we are witnessing a new industrial revolution driven by digital data, computation and automation, the EU has to address certain technical challenges that arise from the fact that any industry today operates with a large set of data that is unmanageable with the existing tools.

The aim of the data-driven economy is to stimulate research and innovation on data while leading to more business opportunities and an increased availability of knowledge and capital, in particular for SMEs, across Europe. You can find the text of the Communication…

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Did you know you can download the EU publications you need from the EU Bookshop? Learn how investing in Green Infrastructure can help fight climate change, prevent natural disasters as well as bring economic benefits. Download for free here.

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