The conference was organized on January 12th by ACR+ in cooperation with Zero Waste Europe and Zero Waste France, in the Committee of the Regions and supported by Michel Lebrun (CoR) aimed to answer questions such as: How to transform the EU into a Low Carbon Economy? In which ways can material resource management contribute to a low carbon economy? What is the impact of improved material resource management practices on greenhouse gas? What are the differences between the various material resource management options regarding their impact and contributions to a low-carbon EU?


The conference began with the presentation of EUNOMIA’s report "The Potential Contribution of Waste Management to a Low Carbon Economy", continued with an overview of the opportunities after the COP21 and the contributions of circular economy to a low carbon society. To illustrate the discussion, the examples of Porto and Brussels, two European regional and local authorities engaged…

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About 400 participants from different organisations related to the tourism sector gathered in Brussels for this year's edition of European Tourism Day. The conference European Tourism Day 2015 revolved around the topic 'Promotion of Europe as a quality competitive tourism destination'.

The importance of tourism in the EU is clear: Europe is the number one tourist destination in the world and holds a global market share in the sector of 51%. However, the market is not connected enough inside the EU and EU citizens are choosing destinations outside of the EU more and more often. In order to keep the leading position in the global tourism industry EU is working on promotion of European destination, tourism friendly policies and helping stakeholders in tourism in accessing finance and markets.

The conference was divided into four panels discussing:

  • initiatives on the EU level in support of the promotion of Europe as a destination
  • the…

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On November 30th Commissioner Creţu met with regional representatives in Centre Albert Borchette of the European Commission. The meeting was the second of its type in this year.

The Regional Offices, of which there are over 300 in Brussels, are the representations of regional and local authorities in EU Member States and act much like “embassies” on city or regional level. Commissioner Creţu called for this meeting to talk about the accomplishments of her 1st year of mandate, and discuss with the Regional Offices the challenges ahead.

She stated these meetings are very useful for both sides to exchange information and ideas. Commissioner presented the most important achievements made by DG REGIO in 2015:

  • by the end of this year all of the programmes DG REGIO is responsible for, including territorial cooperation programmes (Interreg), will be adopted
  • significant progress has been made on using up the funds from the previous…

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This year's OPEN DAYS with the headline 'Europe's regions and cities: partners for investment and growth' were organised around three main topics:

1. 'Modernising Europe': The regions in the energy Union and the single digital market

2. 'Regions open for business': SME development, innovation and job creation

3. 'Places and spaces': Urban and rural development; urban-rural integration

Under the three sub-themes, participants were invited to address challenges and solutions related to management and implementation issues as well as the cross-border, inter-regional or transnational dimension. 

Croatian Regions Office members participated in three consortia organising the debates/workshops in the main programme and one consortium organising a side event in Brussels. Our members also profited from attending different workshops and taking the opportunity to meet with participants from other European regions and cities. 


ITI – The best way(s) to integrate European urban spaces (Krapina-Zagorje County)

The goal of the workshop, organised…

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After the traditional welcome by Johannes Jung, Head of the Representation of the State of Baden-Württemberg to the EU, followed by a tour de table of all attendees, Marco Onida of DG REGIO gave an overview on the current state-of-play of EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR). 

Most importantly, a working unit, the Danube Strategy Point (DSP) has been set up. The centralization in terms of monitoring, communication and implementation of the EUSDR has facilitated the work of the European Commission (EC) so far. Another big milestone of 2015 is the adoption of INTERREG Danube Transnational Programme.

Macro-regional strategies are not another layer of territorial cooperation, but a political framework for better cooperation. Therefore, it is important that existing financial resources are used for achieving the goals that politicians have committed themselves to. In this context, whereas the transnational programmes finance essentially the governance of the macro-regional strategies, big projects and…

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The conference was held in Brussels on July 6th, several months before the review of Europe 2020 strategy planned for December of this year. In his welcome speech, Mr Etele Baráth emphasized the need of cooperation of all the stakeholders across Europe in order to achieve Europe 2020 goals.

Based on a novel, interactive system participants were able to get involved in the discussion by answering questions online or posing questions to the speakers.

Key-note speeches:

Georgios Dassis, President of the Workers' Group at the EESC, in his keynote speech had to comment on the results of the Greek referendum. In his opinion, this was another situation in which the European integration process was forgotten. We are facing difficult times, with unbalanced distribution of wealth, high unemployment and decreased private spending. Our crisis is not just economic, but also humanitarian, he said.

Maria João Rodrigues, Member of the European Parliament, S&D…

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Luxembourg took over the Presidency of the European Council from Latvia and will hold in the second part of 2015. 

The Luxembourg Presidency has oulined an open approach and means to listen to the citizens, support business and cooperate with partners and institutions to work in Europe's best interests. The priorities are based on seven pillars:

  • Stimulating investment to boost growth and employment
  • Deepening the European Union's social dimension
  • Managing migration, combining freedom, justice and security
  • Revitalising the single market by focusing on its digital dimension
  • Placing European competitiveness in a global and transparent framework
  • Promoting sustainable development
  • Strengthening the European Union's presence on the global stage

The Luxembourg Presidency will seek to advance negotiations on updating the interinstitutional Agreement on Better Regulation, on the basis of the proposal submitted by the European Commission. This Agreement will enable better interinstitutional cooperation which should ensure the quality of legislation that…

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Representatives from Međimurje County, Petra Pavičić from Regional Development Agency and Stjepan Mikec from ACT group presented their good practise example at this year's edition of REVES Excellence Award. 

They presented the strategic partnership in development & implementation of the social economy program in Međimurje County through several strategic projects included in Međimurje County Development Strategy through the cooperation of local authorities with civil society (especially with ACT Group, first Croatian SE consortium based in the region):

Community centre

The goal is to establish a sustainable model of use and management of public resource (part of the former military barracks in Čakovec), where the community members have the freedom of assembly, aiming to implement common activities, social entrepreneurship related activities, social services, cultural services, informing, and other activities.

Expected results: By end of 2016 2,5 ha of abandoned public space (property of County of Međimurje) in function, about 20 social entrepreneurial…

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