Open Days: 12th European Week of Regions and Cities
The OPEN DAYS – European Week of Regions and Cities is an annual four-day event during which cities and regions showcase their capacity to create growth and jobs, implement European Union cohesion policy, and prove the importance of the local and regional level for good European governance.
Developing from the initial concept in 2003, the event has become a European networking platform for experts in regional and local development. Exchange of good practice in economic development and social inclusion, cross-border cooperation, public-private partnerships, regional innovation and community-led local development have become some of its many topics.
Over the years, the OPEN DAYS has grown into the key event on EU Regional Policy. It welcomes some 6 000 participants in October each year (local, regional, national and European decision-makers and experts) for more than 100 workshops and debates, exhibitions and networking opportunities. In addition to the Brussels-based workshops, some 250 local events are run from September to November all over Europe.
The thematic priorities
The OPEN DAYS 2014 will be held under the slogan 'Growing together – Smart investment for people', with workshops addressing one of the following themes:
• Connecting regional strategies (theme A): smart specialisation, digital agenda, SME support, low-carbon economy (supported by the ERDF), training and social inclusion (supported by the ESF), boosting innovation, creativity and modernization across the European industrial sector, social inclusion (supported by the ESF); urban dimension.
• Building capacity (theme B): exchange of good practices and instruments in programme management (financial engineering, public procurement procedures, performance and impact evaluation with a stronger emphasis on transparency standards, partnership arrangements).
• Territorial cooperation (theme C): the new generation of pan-European programmes (INTERREG, URBACT, ESPON, INTERACT); international cooperation.
The OPEN DAYS could foster exchange about those thematic priorities that are compulsory for each region between 2014-2020. There would also be the opportunity to look into new instruments such as Integrated Territorial Investments and Community-led Local Development, financial instruments, the new European Territorial Cooperation programmes and the Adriatic-Ionian Macro-regional Strategy to be adopted during the Italian Presidency of the Council of the EU.