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.
Karlovac County delegation, headed by the Prefect Ivan Vučić, visited on 16th and 17th March 2015. Brussels. The delegation included representatives of cities – Ogulin, led by Mayor Jure Turkovic, Ozalj, with the mayor Gordana Lipsinić and Duga Resa, with Deputy Mayor Tomislav Boljar, as well as President of CCE County Chamber Karlovac Zlatko Kuzman. The purpose of the trip was to learn about the institutions that are based in Brussels and presentation of the Karlovac County and cities in the Office of Karlovac County in Brussels. The first day, March 16, delegation visited the Committee of the Regions of the European , representative office of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce in Brussels, where delegation were received by Dragica Martinovic, Head Office. On the same day, in the afternoon, a presentation of the Karlovac County and the towns of Ogulin, Ozalj and Duga Resa was organized in the Office of Karlovac County, with appropriate tasting of regional products. The presentation of the County and cities was attended by about 50 guests. On Friday, March 17th, was scheduled to visit the European Parliament, where MEPs Davor Stier, welcomed the delegation and presented his work in this institution.
REGIO PEER 2 PEER is officially launched on 24 March 2015. The Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy launched a new tool for peer-to-peer exchanges among managing, certifying and audit authorities in Member States, called REGIO PEER 2 PEER. The tool is based on the existing TAIEX instrument, already in use by the Directorate General European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. It is aimed at helping Member States to improve their administrative capacity in managing the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund. Public institutions involved in the management of the ERDF or Cohesion Fund can request support: managing authorities, intermediate bodies, coordinating authorities, audit authorities, certifying authorities, joint secretariats for European territorial cooperation programmes and other bodies.
The Summit on Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing held on 9 and 10 March 2015) aimed to engage Europe's policy, services and market leaders to co-create a shared vision on how Europe can address the challenges and seize the opportunities arising from demographic change through ICT and innovation and in that way contribute to economic recovery.
Central topic of the summit was: how can technology, innovation and new ways of cooperation help Europe to turn this major challenge into an opportunity? The EU population is changing dramatically because of a higher life expectancy and a lower fertility: longer lives and fewer newborns. The number of European citizens over 80 will double by 2025 while the labour market is shrinking. The ageing of our population can undermine the foundations of Europe's health and social care systems. Our labour markets, workforce and overall our cohesion as a society is at risk as the ratio of active vs. inactive people is shifting dramatically. But demographic change also offers new opportunities for innovation, growth and societal transformation that can benefit many millions. In our fast-paced and interconnected world, driven by breakthrough technologies, the right innovations for active and healthy ageing can help our citizens stay active and independent for more years, while savings costs for governments and creating profits for businesses.
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