As we start the 2014-2020 period, we are at a critical stage: putting in place the right framework and creating the right conditions for spending the new EU investments according to our reformed policy.
The slogan of OPEN DAYS 2014 ‘Growing together – Smart investment for people‘ reminded us that cohesion policy depends not only on the economic environment in which it is implemented but also on the administrative capacity of public authorities and stakeholders at local and regional level.
Our policy is more focused than ever before on key areas where investments should have a far greater return than in the past. This is based on the premise that we need to better include all partners at national, regional and local level, including social partners and civil society organisations, at all stages of programming and implementation.
In this respect, I believe the OPEN DAYS is a vitally important platform for exchange between practitioners, policy makers as well as academics to develop new strategies for the evolution of cohesion policy as well as a future academic research agenda. This summary of the proceedings reflects the richness of the debates that took place during the last edition of the OPEN DAYS.
I am deeply impressed by the interest this event raises each year with almost 6000 people participating and an annual turnover of 1/3 of the participants attracting not only new and younger people within the EU but also outside the EU. This shows that our regional and urban development strategies are a model throughout the world.
In my capacity as new Commissioner for Regional Policy I really look forward to working with you and the Committee of the Regions for the next edition of the OPEN DAYS in 2015 in order to widen its role as a platform for the circulation of excellent ideas and experiences and to increase interest from its potential audience. Last but not least, I would like to thank Commissioner Johannes Hahn for the engagement and interest he showed in OPEN DAYS during his mandate.
European Commissioner for Regional and Urban Policy
The report on the Open Days 2014 is available now!
The European Commission published the proceedings of the Open Days 2014 on the following website:
You can read about the Workshop EUROTOWNS: unlocking the potential of medium-sized cities towards EU2020 goals on page 108.