On May 16th, 2013. Croatian Business Network meeting took place in Croatian Chamber of Commerce in Brussels.
Representatives of the Croatian Regions, Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Croatian Chamber of Crafts, Croatia's Mission to the EU and the Croatian Embassy in Belgium gathered to discuss current issues and activities.
The participants also discussed the preparatory activities for the accession of Croatia to the EU, structural and cohesion funds, EU programs which will be available from the 2014th and the upcoming Open Days in Brussels.
Participants agreed that it is necessary to consolidate the activities of all Croatian representative in Brussels, with the aim of better visibility Croatian business interests in EU circles, the best possible information, exchange experiences, to better coordinate the activities and thereby achieve greater business success.
Head of the Department for European Affairs, international and regional cooperation in Karlovac Region, Eva Maria Sobotik Pavan led a delegation at the final conference of the project "Healthy children in healthy families," that held in Brussels on the 14th and 15 May 2013.
This international project in which representatives of regional and local authorities of six European countries, health care institutions, universities and secondary schools, including Karlovac County and Medical School in Karlovac, aims to cooperate in creating a positive atmosphere and environment in which have to raise and teach children and youth.
During their stay in Brussels, delegation visited the Representative Office of Dubrovnik-Neretva and Karlovac County and the European Parliament.
Hosted in Solvay Library in Brussels, the 6th European Heat Pump Association Forum was opened by Marie Donnelly, director of new and renewable sources, energy efficiency and innovation of the European Commission. In her opening speech, Donnelly brought forward the energy roadmap, highlighting sustainability, supplies security and competition as the main targets within the 2030 framework. In order to achieve the goal of reducing gas emissions down to 20% by 2020, she raised the necessity to change the current financial structure, where extremely high capital investments are front ending, meaning that the bill has to be paid today in order to achieve the return on investments in far future.
Thomas Nowak, the secretary general of EPHA focused on growth in terms of jobs and positive climate change seen as the most beneficial outcomes of heat pump technology implementation, whereas Josh Muth gave feedback on the current technology status.
Together with industry representatives, prominent researchers and policy makers Dubrovnik Neretva representatives discussed the current IPA project " ALTERENERGY". The aim of the project is to define an Adriatic sustainable community. Relying on a budget of 12,5 mil. Euros, the project is meant to have an impact on institutional, political, technical and scientific level on energy planning and development capabilities in the Adriatic area.
To conclude, the 6th European Heat Pump Association Forum provided a deep insight into innovative technologies of heat pumps and renewable energy and gave its suggestions on various investment techniques and strategic guidelines. Dubrovnik-Neretva Region continues its trend in supporting green technology and spreading its professional networks on sustainable energy projects.
The round table "From IPA I to IPA II and the EU program: South East Gateway – changes and implications on projects in South-East Europe" discussed the present mechanism of "South East Gateway" program 2014 – 2020. The event was hosted by the Kanton Sarajevo Representative Office in Brussels on 14th of May, 2013.
One of the key note speakers were Mariu Farar from the Directorate for Sector Enlargement for Planning IPA Programs and Fausta Corda from the Directorate of General Regional Policy at the European Commission. In their speech, Farar and Corda introduced the attendees with a new generation of IPA instruments as well as the importance of transnational and interregional cooperation.
The forum brought closer the 2014-2020 fond reconstructions, their means of usage and further possibilities of partnership between more than 40 representatives from European regions, associations and EU institutions that participated in the event.
Next forum carrying the title "Erasmus for all" will be held on 11th of June, 2013 and will present the EU program aimed at exchanging teachers' and students' knowledge and experience.
In Europe, 65% of public capital investment originates from local and regional authorities. The crisis of the last 5 years has strongly affected the investment capacity of Europe's cities and regions. Public finances are scarce and the overall budget of the EU's 2014-2020 multi-annual financial framework has decreased for the first time in history. Both public authorities and private partners face the major challenge to guarantee targeted and long-term investment for qualitative growth and jobs in Europe's regions and cities.
The Committee of the Regions and the European Investment Bank, with the support of the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU, invite stakeholders from the EU member states to discuss today's financial situation and future perspectives for long term investments in Europe's regions and cities.
The speakers was CoR President Valcárcel, President of European Investment Bank Hoyer, Luxembourg Prime Minister Juncker and European Commissioner Barnier. Moreover, there was a key note speech of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform of Ireland, EU Council, Brendan Howlin.
The conference has open discuss of the impact of European economic governance on regional and local governments' capacity to deliver on the Europe 2020 growth strategy; build on experience and prospects of EIB financial instruments and EU structural funds 2014-2020 for 'quality investments' on the ground.
The event was followed by national, regional and local members of government and parliament, high-level officials and representatives of the EU institutions, banks, financial institutions, international organisations, European associations, enterprises and academia.
Dubrovnik-Neretva Region in Brussels presented the investment opportunities in the region and the President of the European Investment Bank take the brochure "Invest in Dubrovnik Neretva Region". Mr. Hoyer visited Dubrovnik last year when he signed a contract of 100 million Euros to finance projects for SMEs, and he promised to come back to our Region very soon.
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