Author: Nikola Benin
Each of the 187 regions and city participating in the 2016 European Week of Regions and Cities will hold at least one local event to bring Europe closer to citizens. Under the heading ‘Europe in my region/city’, there will be conferences, workshops, radio/TV broadcasts or exhibitions in 28 countries between September and November.
Local events are organised around the event’s thematic priorities. They target the general public, potential beneficiaries of EU regional policy, expert audiences, academics and the media and can take various formats such as conferences, workshops, radio/TV broadcasts or exhibitions. Local events can also be organised in conjunction with the launch of EU regional policy projects or in the framework of annual information measures as required by the Structural Funds’ regulations.
Event organisers and partners The European Week of Regions and Cities is co-organised by the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the European Commission’s DirectorateGeneral for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO). The organisers are responsible for the design, structure and programme, general coordination and communication with all partners. The event partners are the European institutions, regional partnerships, companies, financial institutions, European associations and individual regions and cities. Event partner undertake to respect the rules of participation as stipulated in this document, and any other obligations communicated by the organisers during the preparatory process. The organisers reserve the right to exclude event partners should they fail to respect the rules and obligations. Institutional partners: The European Parliament’s Committee on Regional Policy (REGI) will be involved in preparations for the event and the Slovak EU Presidency will be invited to participate. The European Commission DirectorateGeneral for Communication will be asked to promote, and, where possible, support local events through its representations in the Member States and its information networks. A number of other Commission Directorates-General will be invited to take part in the programme, provided they contribute to the themes and respect the conditions mentioned in this guide. Non-EU countries and international organisations can be invited by the organisers to contribute to a series of special workshops or debates. Regional partnerships: In line with the conditions laid down in this document, the organisers will invite regions and cities to set up regional partnerships, which will contribute to the programme through events in Brussels and in their respective regions and cities (local events), for whose costs, organisation and content they will be responsible. Regions and cities, companies, financial institutions and European associations can become event partners at the “Meeting Place” by organising workshops/debates and networking sessions hosted at the headquarters of the European Committee of the Regions. 6 1.5 Target audience The European Week of Regions and Cities and its workshops, debates and networking activities address a particular target audience, namely: members of the European Committee of the Regions, members of the European Parliament and national, regional and local politicians; European, national, regional and local government officials and experts in the field of managing and evaluating cohesion policy programmes; representatives of private companies, financial institutions and European and national associations; journalists from European, national, regional and local media outlets; researchers, PhD or masters students and practitioners in the field of European, regional and urban policy. 1.6 Events in Brussels Between 10 and 13 October 2016, the Brussels-based European Week of Regions and Cities events will consist of: 1) the Opening Session on 10 October; 2) a programme of some 100 workshops and debates, involving all event partners and managed jointly by them, including activities under the title the “Meeting Place” (at CoR headquarters) and the “University”; 3) the Master Class; 4) the RegioStars and photo competition awards; 5) a media programme. All events must relate to the thematic priorities described under 1.3. The 25 to 30 workshops or debates proposed by the regional partnerships will provide an opportunity to exchange experience and good practice and to facilitate cooperation and networking. Regional partners are independent as regards the logistics and costs of their sessions, but they must respect the thematic priorities, format and quality standards set by the organisers. DG REGIO will coordinate around 40 workshops or debates organised by other Commission DGs. DGs are welcome to co-organise workshops with regional partnerships. The CoR will host 25 workshops and debates at the Meeting Place, where CoR services and political groups will also highlight results of the institution’s initiatives and networks. All event partners, European academic networks specialised in regional development (such as the Regional Studies Association) and academics from different European countries specialising in urban and regional studies are invited to contribute to a set of seminars at the University, up to a maximum of 10 sessions. 7 All event partners must cooperate and contribute to ensuring the quality of the event. They are therefore asked to inform their speakers, chairs and participants about the event and to attend the preparatory meetings held by organisers. The co-organisation of workshops and debates between regional offices, the European Commission and the CoR is encouraged. This will make the programme more dynamic and lead to a better mix of politicians, high-level officials, academics and private sector entrepreneurs, which is what makes the event unique. For documentation purposes, event partners are obliged to make the presentations and reports of their events public, for subsequent publication on the event website. Participants at the European Week of Regions and cities may not be charged any fee. The partners are not allowed to conduct commercial activities in the context of these events.
Participation in the Meeting Place The aim of the Meeting Place is to attract partners and participants to discover and discuss the topics within the thematic priorities of European Week of Regions and Cities 2016 at the Committee of the Regions’ premises. By way of follow-up to the 2015 urban programme, workshops on urban topics or led by cities and urban areas are particularly welcomed. The components of the Meeting Place are: workshops and debates networking interactive sessions media centre Meeting Place café Workshops and debates: for sessions to be held at the CoR, applications can be submitted by: regional and local authorities and EGTCs; national and regional authorities in charge of managing programmes co-financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds (ERDF, Cohesion Fund, ESF, EAFRD and EMFF); services and political groups of the Committee of the Regions; Directorates-General of the European Commission; pan-European networking programmes financed by the ERDF; European associations of local and regional authorities; companies involved in public-private partnerships; European associations representing the business sector; financial institutions and European associations in the banking sector. Priority will be given to programmes and projects that have received co-financing from EU funds. In addition, managing authorities are invited to exchange ideas with colleagues from other countries for programmes in the 2014-2020 period. 12 A total of 25 workshops and debates can be organised in 2016 at the headquarters of the European Committee of the Regions, for the following time slots: Workshop Networking 11-12 October 9 a.m. – 10.45 a.m. 10.45 a.m. – 12.30 p.m. 11.15 a.m. – 1 p.m. 1 p.m. – 2.30 p.m. 2.30 p.m. – 5 p.m. 5 p.m. – 6.30 p.m. 13 October 9 a.m. – 10.45 a.m. 10.45 a.m. – 12.30 p.m. 11.15 a.m. – 1 p.m. 1 p.m. – 2.30 p.m. Networking: Individual workshops can be followed by networking sessions, which take place in a designated area immediately after the workshop ends. The CoR will provide the area with branded material, screens, chairs and tables. For networking sessions, Meeting Place partners will be asked to provide visual material on the projects – e.g. videos or photos – and to make optimal use of the networking area put at their disposal. The networking area, which the event partners can brand during the networking period, will be available to the event partner only for the duration of their respective networking session. Participants in the networking sessions will be European Week of Regions and Cities participants who registered for the specific workshop. It is the responsibility of the conference manager to inform participants about the networking session well in advance. The conference manager may also invite any other interested party to the networking event. Partners are invited to propose new formats for interactive events (such as policy labs, networking ideas market, Ignite talks or World Café) in order to offer participants a more engaging way to discuss or present topics relating to the thematic priorities. About ten such events can take place on 11, 12 or 13 October in Atrium 5 or 6. Their organisation is to be discussed with the person responsible for the Meeting Place. Media Centre: A joint media programme, including working facilities in the CoR and special services such as workspaces, interviewing possibilities etc., will be organised for journalists from local, regional, national and European media outlets. The CoR may possibly cover travel expenses and hotel accommodation for a limited number of media representatives. Meeting Place café: The café will be set up on the premises of the European Committee of the Regions (Atrium on the 5th floor).