The key theme for 2006 was "How to make Europe's regions and Cities more attractive?", which is close to RomAdvice's own efforts and positioning in Romania. With hundreds of sessions and thousands of delegates from all over Europe, it was virtually impossible to participate in all of the sessions. At RomAdvice, we decided to limit ourselves to selected sessions that related to Structural Funds, SME & Entrepreneurship, and new entrants to the EC.
A reasonable summary (and interesting discussion) of what has been covered in the many sessions was provided in the Closing Session, with Jacques Attali, Economist, Philosopher, and President of PlaNet Finance; Craig R. Barret, Chairman of the Board of Intel Corporation; Michel Delebarre, President of the Committee of the Regions; Danuta Hübner, European Commissioner for Regional Policy; John Monks, Secretary-General of the European Trade Union Confederation; and Vladimir Spidla, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.
Some interesting quotes:
- José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission: "Europe needs the dynamism of its regions, their creativity, their know-how and their enthusiasm more than ever. A successful Europe can only grow when it respects the diversity of its territories. At a time of globalization, regions are the privileged actors to achieve the competitive Europe we strive for."
- Craig R. Barret: "An educated workforce, modern infrastructure, good governance and return on investment are the factors making regions and cities attractive for investors."
Projects and Funding:
- Public Private Partnerships (PPP) -- interview with Craig R. Barret
- Collaboration between regions, cities, chambers of commerce, universities, etc.
- Encourage clusters to exchange experience and generate synergies
- Leverage public funds: every public Euro should generate up to 3 Euro private investment
- EU Funds to favor large ambitious programmes
Social and Societal Concerns:
- Raising quality of life whilst improving competitiveness
- Ensuring social cohesion
- Finding the right balance between mobility, nomadism, flexibility, and respect of local culture & habits/trade
- Migration and desertification of insular/remote regions
Productivity and Competitiveness:
- Life-long learning initiatives
- Creating the right conditions/providing the infrastructure for local businesses to thrive
- Develop managerial capability & entrepreneurship culture and learn the lessons from failure rather than stigmatize
- Benefit from the knowledge economy
- Focus on Innovation in order to move up the value chain
Promote all aspects of the Lisbon Strategy:
- Making Europe a more attractive place to invest and work
- Knowledge and innovation for growth
- Creating more and better jobs
The Next Open Days will be held October 8-11, 2007 under the Theme: "Making it happen: regions deliver growth and jobs." RomAdvice will be present, of course!
The RomAdvice Team!