The European Commission organised the Conference „Grow your region - Delivering Smart Specialisation and Economic Transformation through Clusters" in Brussels on 27th and 28 th April 2015.
The emphasis on economic transformation and on building interregional value chains calls for a new generation of cluster policy approaches. Clusters can be key delivery instruments for national and regional smart specialisation strategies, internal market, re-industrialisation and SME policy. Using interactive formats, this conference provided a unique opportunity for regional policy makers and cluster actors to share experiences on how smart specialisation strategies and clusters can help transform your region and drive growth. Building upon success stories and innovative practices, participants learned about novel ways of implementing smart specialisation through cluster-based activities and cross-clustering actions. They also had the chance to explore new partnerships for joint activities in the context of the new generation of European programmes such as ERDF, COSME and Horizon2020.
This conference was specifically targeted at representatives of national and regional administrations acting as managing authorities for the ERDF and at INTERREG secretariats as well as those responsible for national or regional cluster policies and initiatives, including cluster managers and cluster members. The conference was attended by the representative of Dubrovnik Neretva Region in Bruxelles, Hrvoje Butigan.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved the first four projects to be financed with up to € 300 million through the Investment Plan for Europe (EFSI). The EIB's first EFSI earmarked projects include investment in healthcare research in Spain, expansion of a key airport in Croatia (Dubrovnik), the construction of 14 new healthcare centres across Ireland and backing for industrial innovation in Italy. The Investment Plan for Europe should be in place by September 2015, but EIB has already started to pre-finance these projects. Through the mobilisation of new investments, mostly from the private sector, the Juncker Commission aim to reach €315 Billion over a three year period. Member States such as Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Luxembourg and Poland have said that they will contribute money to the EFSI through their National Promotional Banks.
The European Commission organised the 5th Conference on Intelligent Transport Systems in Brussels on 24 April 2015. The objective of this high-level event was to provide an overview of the state-of-play with regard to a number of key actions and major initiatives in the context of the ITS Action Plan. During the ITS Conference 2015 the topics were such as Data for digitising transport, Mobility as a Service and Connectivity and automation were discussed.
The ITS Conference 2015 brought together high-level representatives from the European institutions and representatives of public and private stakeholders from the ITS community. The Conference was opened by Mrs Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport, together with representatives of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU and the European Parliament.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), in partnership with the Committee of the Regions (CoR) organised the ECI Day on 13 th April 2015.
The focus was on the reports from the European Commission and the European Ombudsman on the ECI procedure, ECI renewal and resetting and the different perspectives: users, Member States, Parliament and support structures.
Workshop themes were suggested on the spot, centring around the three main themes: agenda setting, citizens' dialogue and participatory democracy.
In the center of the capital city of Belgium and European capital - Brussels, in the prestigious Business Club Circle of Lorraine on Tuesday, 17th March, a presentation of the tourist offer of the City of Dubrovnik was organized by Dubrovnik Tourist Board in cooperation with the Croatian Tourist Board for Benelux, Dubrovnik Airport and Brussels Airlines. The presentation was attended by 70 guests, among whom was the Croatian Ambassador for Belgium Mario Nobilo.
The guests were welcomed at the beginning of the presentation by manager of the Office HTZ Ivan Novak, who pointed out that for Dubrovnik, a direct line from the Brussels Airlines company, provides new opportunity for the expansion of the tourist business with this market, especially in the MICE offer which will become more accessible and EU associations with their headquarters in Brussels. The Honorary Consul of Belgium in Dubrovnik Sabine Gouhie also welcomed guests by Skype as well as tourist guide Vesna Gamulin and Kaše whose song evoke the atmosphere of the City with great views of the Stradun. Skype answering and talking about Dubrovnik caused a real ovation, after which the program continued with the presentation of the Dubrovnik tourist offer.
On behalf of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board in Brussels were Jelka Tepšić and Sandra Milovčević and to represent Dubrovnik Airport the commercial director Frano Luetić. At the end the winner of the prize trip to Dubrovnik, a Tourist Agent Rose Dombrecht, is drawn who the Vice airline Brussels Airlines Federico Deschamp handed two free return flights on a new direct flight to Dubrovnik and the Valamar hotel voucher for 4 nights at the Valamar Lacroma. The presentation was followed by tasting wine of Peljesac with numerous Belgian partners and journalists, the presentation also joined by the people of Dubrovnik in Brussels Ivica and Srećka Sršen, Hrvoje Butigan, Official representative of Dubrovnik Neretva County in Brussels, and the assistants in the offices of the EU parliamentarians from Croatia.
Last year, Dubrovnik was visited by around 40,000 Belgian tourists or 16 percent more than the previous year, and considering the introduction of new flights, we believe that 2015 will be so successful. Direct flight from Brussels Airlines to Dubrovnik starts on April 25th till 10th October, and the two cities will be connected twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
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