Written by Balazs Szechy.
The European Week of Regions and Cities (#EURegionsWeek) is the biggest annual Brussels-based event dedicated to cohesion policy. The 20th edition of EURegionsWeek under the motto ‘New Challenges for Europe’s cohesion’ includes online and onsite sessions and a virtual exhibition. The European Parliamentary Research Service is organising two workshops and will be moderating a high-level event as part of the EU RegionsWeek.
The European Week of Regions and Cities is a[FC1] four-day event during which cities and regions showcase their capacity to create growth and jobs, implement European Union cohesion policy, and prove the importance of the local and regional level for good European governance. During this year’s edition, held from 10 to 13 October 2022, over 1 000 speakers will take part in 386 hours of interactive conferences. The main aim is to discuss common challenges for Europe’s regions and cities and examine possible solutions, by bringing together politicians, decision-makers, experts and practitioners of cohesion policy, as well as stakeholders from business, banking, civil society organisations, academia, the EU institutions and the media. The event provides a platform for capacity-building, learning, and to share experience and good practice for those implementing EU cohesion policy and managing its financial instruments. It facilitates cooperation and networking between regions and cities. The EU Regions Week also feeds into the debate on EU cohesion policy in a wider context, including recent research and views from third countries and international organisations.
For the seventh year running, EPRS is organising a workshop on research as part of the EU RegionsWeek College. This workshop will discuss how the Parliament’s research work is organised and will examine how closer links can be established between researchers in the academic world and EU policy-makers. The workshop is open to all.
A second EPRS workshop will examine the effectiveness of cohesion policy as a tool for solidarity in the context of the war in Ukraine. With large numbers of people having fled Ukraine, the event will focus on the new measures introduced under the cohesion policy framework, such as CARE, CARE+ and FAST-CARE. A panel of policy experts and political practitioners will guide the session, aiming to identify actionable ideas for improving cohesion policy in this area, and involving audience participation through the use of interactive polls. Members of the European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions are due to participate in the debate. Issues such as cohesion policy’s capacity to address unforeseen emergencies, or how recent regulatory changes (in addition to flexibility introduced through the CRII packages and REACT-EU) might accelerate a paradigm shift from cohesion policy being a long-term investment mechanism to incorporating a crisis-response feature on a permanent basis, are likely to feature.
The EPRS will also moderate the high-level workshop on ’20 years of EU policies in island regions: where are we?’, organised by the Sardinia Region’s EU liaison office, in partnership with the regional authorities of Corsica, the Balearic islands, Gozo, Crete and the Ionian islands. High-level political representatives from these regions will take the floor, alongside a representative from the European Commission and four Members of the European Parliament, including the Committee on Regional Development’s Chair, Younous Omarjee (GUE/NGL, France).
As in previous years, the European Parliamentary Research Service has published a topical digest linked to the event, providing a selection of briefings and studies published by the European Parliament on many of the major issues under discussion, including the green transition, territorial cohesion, digital transition and youth empowerment.
We look forward to welcoming you online on 11-12 October 2022.