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Culture and Creativity: Europe's regions and cities making a difference

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konf_corIn light of new EU funding opportunities for the period 2014-2020, the Committee of the Regions' conference on 29-30 January 2014 brought together policy-makers, experts, creative minds and trend watchers, artists and representatives of European associations and international organisations in order to discuss success stories from cultural and creative sectors and their impact on local development.

The event facilitated 'creative networking' with representatives of selected projects from different cultural and creative institutions, organisations and networks as well as information sessions on the 'Creative Europe' programme.

Europe's creative and cultural sectors represent a significant potential to contribute to the sustainable recovery of the economy and to create jobs. With a share of 4.5% of the EU's GDP and 4% of its workforce, creative and cultural institutions and enterprises are an important and a very dynamic part of the EU economy. Creative sectors face, however, a number of challenges such as a fragmented cultural market and space, namely due to linguistic diversity, the 'digital shift' of art production and dissemination, a difficult access to finance for creative enterprises, and finally, a lack of comparable data. Tackling these challenges can contribute to achieve the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy for growth and jobs at all levels of government.

 

Meeting of regional representatives in Brussels with EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn

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sastanak_hahnRegional Policy Commissioner, Johannes Hahn met the Brussels-based regional representative offices on 16th January 2014.. During the meeting, he underlined the importance of the partnership with Europe's regional and local authorities in planning and putting into practice the programmes under the reformed Regional Policy for 2014-2020.

Speaking from the Albert Borschette building of the European Commission, Commissioner Hahn focused on how the new Code of Conduct on Partnership will mean that regional and local authorities are consulted to ensure that future strategies and programmes reflect regional needs and investments have maximum impact.

Regional and local authorities will play a central role in designing, implementing, and monitoring investment. More than 230 representatives from regional offices and associations of municipalities from 21 Member States participated in the event.

 

"Telling the Story - Communicating European Structural and Investment Funds 2014-2020"

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telling_storyThe Conference "Telling the Story – Communicating European Structural and Investment Funds 2014-2020"was organised on 09th and 10th December in Brussels by four European Commission Directorates-General that together manage a very significant part of the EU budget: Agriculture and Rural Development, Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and Regional Policy.

The event was focused on how to better tell the story of Europe, through its achievements on the ground via the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, as well as through the other European Structural and Investment Funds.

Altogether, around 600 participants from all 28 EU countries attended the event, which aims to boost collaboration between EU, national and regional officials involved in communicating about European Structural and Investment Funds; provide a sound basis for the communication strategies that will accompany ESIF programmes during the 2014-2020 funding period; share good practices in communication and facilitate mutual learning between different countries and funds. Johannes Hahn, Member of the EC in charge of Regional Policy, and Dacian Cioloş, Member of the EC in charge of Agriculture and Rural Development, participated in the conference.

 

Wallonia Export-Invest Fair

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wallonia_pphotoAWEX (Wallonia Foreign Trade And Investment Agency) with sixty other foreign trade partners have organized the first edition of Wallonia Export-Invest Fair on 05th and 06th December 2013. The AWEX is the Wallonia Region of Belgium's government agency in charge of trade promotion and foreign investment attraction.

The event taked place at the Palais des Congrès in Liège. It was great opportunity to meet the main foreign trade stakeholders and also B2B meetings with qualified experts in investment sector.

The Export-Invest Fair was attended by representative of the Dubrovnik Neretva region office in Brussels, Hrvoje Butigan.

 

“Accessible Tourism in Europe”

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DSC_0573The European Commission - DG Justice and DG Enterprise and Industry organized on 3 and 4 December 2013, the "European Day of Persons with Disabilities" and the "European Tourism Day" 2013 with the Joint Conference on "Accessible Tourism in Europe".

The aim of this two-fold event is to raise awareness on the right of everybody to have equal access to tourism services and destinations and to present some success stories and best practices in the field. The conference is part of the EU's wider efforts to promote the mainstreaming of disability issues in line with the EU Disability Strategy 2010-2020 and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).

The conference shown examples of good practices of Tourism for All, and possible solutions for the obstacles most frequently encountered. The conference also covered the practical, political and economic aspects of these issues, focusing on how to overcome barriers that are limiting the potential of a more open Europe to international tourism and benefit from the tourism industry.

Ms. Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Justice, led the Access City Award 2014 on 3rd December. Mr. Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Entrepreneurship and Industrial Policy, concluded the joint event on 4th December.

 

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