A conference "Microsoft CityNext: Innovation Overcoming Social Challenges and Driving Growth Strategies for Regions and Cities" was organized by Microsoft Center in Brussels on 13 May 2014. During the day the participants have had the opportunity to listen, learn, question and discuss how ICT can benefit cities and regions in presentations and workshop sessions.
The speakers, leading innovative city and regional leaders, were Richard Tuffs (Director European Regions Research and Innovation Network (ERRIN)), Jörn Riedel (Chief Information Officer, Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg), Menno van Leewen (Advisor to the Board, Intermetzo YouthCare., Netherlands), Pippa Gardner (Technology Strategy Board (TSB) Future Cities Demonstrator Programme, Glasgow City Council) and Josep Ramon Ferrer - Escoda (Deputy Chief Information Officer and Smart City Director, Barcelona City Council).
The participants also have had the opportunity to explore the new Microsoft Centre in Brussels and see examples of technology solutions for regions and cities that create healthier, greener, safer, and more prosperous places to live.
On 29 April 2014, the European Federation of Nautical Tourism Destinations (FEDETON) organised a public event in the Committee of the Regions gathering mayors and representatives of local authorities and stakeholders of nautical destinations covering more than 300 coastal municipalities. With this conference, FEDETON, as a public-private collaborative platform for promoting nautical destinations in Europe, called on its associates, but also on public administrations, public and private institutions connected to nautical tourism, NGOs and the business sector, to endorse the objectives set forth in the Manifest for Sustainable Nautical Tourism.
With the endorsement of this Manifest they wanted to trigger collective action in a common effort to boost the economic, environmental and social sustainability of nautical destinations and the coastline, creating better quality conditions and development opportunities for citizens. This event was supported and endorsed by the President of the Committee of the regions, Mr Ramón Luis Valcárcel and the Commissioner of Maritime affairs and Fisheries, Ms Maria Damanaki.
During the April, a delegation of Dubrovnik-Neretva, Karlovac and Zagreb County have visited the European Parliament in Brussels, where they had a chance to learn about the Institution whose decisions are reflected in every EU citizen.
During they stay in Brussels, the delegations visited the European Commision and the representative office of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, where they were met by official representative Hrvoje Butigan.
13 participants from 7 Southeast European attended the Brussels study visit organised in cooperation with the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies and Robert Schuman Institute. Following a preparation seminar in Vienna the group participated in a series of meetings with politicians, officials and advisors dealing with relevant fields in the Martens Centre, European Parliament, Commission, Committee of the Regions, European Economic and Social Committee, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, SME Europe and the Dubrovnik-Neretva Regional Representation Office in Brussels.
Andrej Plenkovic, a Croatian representative in the European Parliament, on 08.04.2014. organized a conference on „New opportunities for Croatian expatriates in EU Member States", which gathered more than 130 participants. The aim of the conference was to emancipate the theme of Croatian expatriates in the countries of the European since it is estimated that in these countries there are about 700,000 Croats.
Plenkovic has emphasized the contribution of the Croatian diaspora at the time of the acquisition of Croatian independence, its continuous contribution to the economic development of the country, especially to the preservation of identity, culture and customs. Joseph Daul, the President of the European People's Party distinguished himself among numerous eminent speakers, emphasizing the important role of Croatia as a new EU member state and the contribution of Croatian diaspora to the economic development of member states.
The speakers on the panel were Simon Sito Coric, a spokesman for the Croatian World Congress, Roger Knezovic, director of the Croatian Heritage Foundation, Ivan Zvonimir Cicak, president of the Croatian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, Janko Vranyczany-Dobrinovic, a former minister and ambassador, Marc Gjidara, president of the Croats' representative council in France, Francis Akmadza, a member of the Croatian World Congress in Germany. Final presentation at a conference was held by Zdravka Busic, who pointed out the fact that for the first time ever Croats from Vojvodina were welcomed and presented in the European Parliament.
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