Open Days 2012, the European Week of Regions and Cities, was held in Brussels from the 8th to the 11th of October. This is a four day event which is celebrated annually in the European Union’s venues in Brussels, such as the European Commission, the Committee of Regions and the local and regional representations of the different countries which form the European Union. Lately it has become an important platform of networking for experts on regional and local development. More than 6.000 atendees participate in this event, and it covers topics such as transport, energy, tourism, rural development, occupation or transnational cooperation.Further information about this event can be found in a previous article on our website.
Ignasi Capellà, junior consultant for DCB Tourism and Local Development, had the opportunity to attend the Open Days event for the second time, after having participated in the 2010 edition. With a program including more than 100 parallel activities (workshops, debates, expositions, good practices exchanges) he was able to attend different sessions and workshops related with themes such as sustainable tourism in rural areas, opportunities and challenges of the Natura 2000 network, tools for a successful Local Economic Development strategy, a specific session about the Europe 2020 Strategy and a networking session about youth unemployment in Europe.
This year it was very important to attend this meeting, because at this moment the strategic lines and the cohesion policies of the 2014-2020 period are being defined. In some sessions, experts gave information about the current debates on the European Union. We were taught how the programs arising in the Europe 2020 Strategy will have their main goals related to “Intelligent, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth”. Tourism will become an important tool for innovation and regional competence. Information about the Common Agricultural Policy was also presented in this event.
Apart from this information, participating in the 2012 Open Days event allowed us to gain more knowledge on good practices related with different European projects, as well as policies and programs of the different EU member states to fight against situations like youth unemployment, climate change or the economic crisis. We also had the opportunity to contact different representatives of institutions linked to local and regional development, and to give them information about some projects developed in the different territories where DCB Tourism and Local Development has been working.
Our impression of this meeting has been very positive, because it has allowed us to learn more about the Europe 2020 Strategy, which will define the European Union’s policies for the following years. It was also interesting to find out about new financing options for local and regional development projects, to know about examples of projects from different European countries, to pick up useful information for the consultancy’s day-to-day work, to contact representatives of different institutions related with regional development, and to release projects developed by DCB Tourism and Local Development.