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22.02.06
Record number of partners sign up for 2006 Open Days European Week of Regions and Cities

A record 134 offices of regions and cities in Brussels have been selected as official partners for the 2006 Open Days European Week of Regions and Cities, the annual event organised by the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and European Commission Directorate-General for Regional Policy (DG REGIO).

Coordinators from each of the partner organisations, representing 24 different countries, will take part in a launch event at the CoR's headquarters in Brussels on 23rd February, in the presence of CoR Secretary-General Gerhard Stahl and DG REGIO Director-General Graham Meadows.

They will be joined by members of the Regional Development Committee of the European Parliament (REGI), including chairman Gerardo Galeote Quecedo, and members of the CoR's Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy (COTER), led by newly-appointed President Sir Albert Bore.

The theme of the 2006 Open Days, which takes place in Brussels from 9-12 October, will be 'Investing in Europe's Regions and Cities – Public and Private Partnership for Growth and Jobs'. It will feature up to eighty seminars and workshops, with the main focus on public and private initiatives to boost jobs at the local and regional level.

The established Open Days partnership between the CoR, DG REGIO, regional representations and the Regional Development Committee of the Parliament is being expanded this year to reflect the scale of the event: the European Economic and Social Committee will play a key role, as well as representatives from financial institutions, business associations, social partners, civil society and other groups engaged in economic and social development.

"The Open Days is now unquestionably the event of the year for regions and cities in Brussels," said newly elected President of the CoR, Michel Delebarre. "The record number of partners this year, up from 106 in 2005 and 70 in 2004, speaks for itself. It's a tremendous success story. The event will be of immense practical value for our regions and cities as they prepare for the launch of the new generation of Structural Funds programmes. It is an excellent platform for best practice and for brain-storming new and innovative ideas to get the European economy back on the front foot," added President Delebarre.

Danuta Hübner, European Commissioner for Regional Policy, said: "The European Week of Regions and Cities is a concrete example of how to involve the regions in the Union's growth and jobs agenda. I am very pleased that this year's event is reaching out to the private sector, as well as social and civil society organisations. We also want to underline that the 2006 Open Days will not just be 'another Brussels conference'. In parallel, we will 'go local' to the participating partner regions and cities. Local presentations, visits to EU-funded projects, debates and exhibitions will demonstrate to citizens that the Lisbon strategy and cohesion policy can make a positive difference to their lives," Mrs Hübner added.

The 'decentralised' debates and exhibitions in the participating countries are due to take place from 12-14 October.

At the Thursday 23rd February launch event, DG REGIO will issue a 'call for papers' from experts in the field of regional development and the management of Structural Funds. The objective is to select about one hundred speakers for thirty-five workshops forming part of the Open Days programme.

The conference topics are:

Investing in competitive enterprises and high quality jobs;
Fostering regional innovation;
Investing in sustainable use of resources and environmental technologies;
Supporting public-private partnerships for larger infrastructure projects;
Cutting red tape: Managing the Structural Funds between 2007 and 2013.

For more information, please contact Estelle Poidevin on 0032(0)2 282 2270 or email: estelle.poidevin@cor.eu.int; or visit: www.europa.eu.int/comm/regional_policy/conferences

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Editor's notes:

Official partners of the 2006 OPEN DAYS European Week of Regions and Cities

The 134 partners for the 2006 OPEN DAYS European Week of Regions and Cities were selected from offices of regions and cities in Brussels following a call for expressions of interest in December 2005.

They have been divided into 14 'conglomerates'; each has chosen a 'brand' name reflecting the nature of their partnership or main focus.

The partners represent 20 EU Member States, along with EU applicant countries Romania (RO) and Croatia (HR), and non-EU members Switzerland (CH) and Norway (NO).

The most represented countries are Germany (17 partners), followed by Italy (14), United Kingdom (13), Spain (12), Netherlands and Poland (10), France, Finland and Hungary (7), Czech Republic (6), Romania and Sweden (5).

The full list of conglomerates and partners is as follows:

Baltic Sea Group
Schleswig-Holstein (DE), Copenhagen (DK), Hamburg (DE), Malmö (SE), Oslo Region (NO), Tallinn (EE), Vilnius (LT), West Pomerania (PL), West Sweden (SE)

Capital Cities/Regions & Cities for Cohesion
London (UK), Province of Barcelona (ES), Berlin (DE), Brussels-Capital Region (BE), Budapest (HU), G-4: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht (NL), Ile de France (FR), Lodz City (PL), Madrid (ES), Merseyside (UK), Prague (CZ)

Competitiveness and Innovation in Northen Europe
Turku-Southwest Finland (FI), Aarhus (DK), Liguria (IT), North Lapland-Oulu (FI), North Norway (NO), South Finland (FI), Tampere Central Region (FI), City of Tartu (EE), West Finland (FI), West Norway (NO)

Dynamic regions for Sustainable Development
Auvergne-Centre-Limousin (FR), Andalucia (ES), Irish Regions (IE), Pardubicky Region (CZ), Banska Bystrica Region (SK), Trencin Region (SK), Saarland (DE), South West UK (UK)

Green Motors for Growth
Rhône-Alpes (FR), Baden-Württemberg (DE), Catalonia (ES), Lombardia (IT), Malopolska (PL), Piemonte (IT), Swiss Cantons (CH), Vallée d'Aoste (IT)

Innovative Solutions for Regional Competitiveness
Galicia (ES), Bretagne - Pays de la Loire - Poitou-Charentes (FR), Cantabri (ES), Extremadura (ES), Kujawsko-Pomorskie (PL), Lodz Region (PL), North East of England (UK), Steiermark (AT), West Pannonia (HU)

Interregional Network Summit
Saxony-Anhal (DE), Kosice Region (SK), Thuringia (DE), Saxony (DE), Basque Country (ES), Murcia (ES), Cheshire (UK), North Great Plain (HU), Donegal (IE), Presov Region (SK)

Investments in Regional Partnerships
Rhineland-Palatinate (DE), Central Bohemia (CZ), Grand Est-Bourgogne (FR), Grand Est-Franche-Comte (FR), Liberec Region (CZ), Opolskie (PL), Mid-Transdanubian Region (HU), North Hungary (HU), South Great Plain (HU), South Transdanubian Region (HU)

Lisbon Regions
Valencia (ES), Emilia-Romagna (IT), Regio Randstadt (NL), Stuttgart Region (DE), Stockholm Region (SE), Helsinki & Uusimaa Region (FI), Riga City & Region (LV), West Midlands (UK)

METREX
Glasgow & Clyde Valley (UK), Athens (GR), Region Frankfurt Rhein-Main (DE), Nürnberg (DE), Oradea (RO), Rhein-Neckar (DE), Thessaloniki (GR)

Regional Innovation for a Better Europe
ALPEUREGIO South Tyrol (IT), Trentino (IT), Tyrol (AT), Carinthia (AT), Central Moravia (CZ), Friuli Venezia Giulia (IT), Istria (HR), Navarra (ES), Timis County (RO), Veneto (IT)

Regions of Rond Point Schuman
Scotland (UK), Central Italy Regions: Abruzzo, Lazio, Marche, Tuscany, Umbria (IT), Pomorskie (PL), Wales (UK)

Sustainable Energy Regions
Mid Sweden (SE), East Finland (FI), East of England (UK), Estonian Cities (EE), Mid-Norway (NO), North Sweden (SE), Northern IEeland Executive (UK), Northwest England (UK), Ilfov (RO), Neamat (RO), Vrencea (RO), Western Greece (GR)

Ten for Competitiveness and Sustainability
Niedersachsen (DE), Bremen (DE), East-Netherlands Provinces (NL), Flevoland (NL), Lower Silesia (PL), Lubelskie Region (PL), North-Netherlands Provinces (NL), North-Netherlands Provinces (NL), Haute Normandie (FR), Wielkopolska (PL), YorkshIEe & Humberside (UK)

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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