European Week of Regions and Cities: Open Days 2009

Brussels will become the capital of the regions and cities with the organisation of “Open Days 2009 - European Week of Regions and Cities” where over 7,000 European, national and regional policy-makers, practitioners and representatives of business, civil society and academia will participate in 125 seminars and other events in Brussels.

Participants will come not only from Europe but also from the United States, China and India. The aim of the four-day event is for regions and cities to share ideas on a wide spectrum of issues. They range from boosting economic development and counteracting the current recession to the long-term challenges of climate change. Some 230 additional local events will also take place in Member States under the OPEN DAYS banner.

The seminars at this year's OPEN DAYS are focused on four main topics:

  • Restoring growth: Innovation in Europe's cities and regions.
  • Regions and Climate Change: Europe's way to sustainable regional development.
  • Territorial Cooperation: Working together across borders.
  • Achieving results, looking ahead: EU Cohesion Policy's evaluation and future prospects.

OPEN DAYS University

The OPEN DAYS University is among several new features included in the 2009 programme. Designed to get the academic community more involved, it will include a series of panels with leading academics. US author and economist Jeremy Rifkin , who is renowned for his ideas on the post-carbon "Third Industrial Revolution", will address the conference via a video message which will stimulate discussions on how European regions can respond to climate change.

'The Meeting Place': Regions making business

During the OPEN DAYS, the Committee's premises will be the Meeting Place for local experts and representatives of banks and international companies such as Siemens and Motorola, who are teaming up to organise 33 seminars on regional and business development. will met representatives of regions and will cover some of the 125 events.

EU Cohesion Policy

The EU Cohesion Policy, which has a budget of EUR 347 billion in 2007-2013 and provides support for 455 development programmes in the Member States, demands effective cooperation between public authorities and the business community to make best use of EU funds. The OPEN DAYS can help lay the foundations for such partnerships and for joint projects.