23rd-24th June 2011 | Brussels (Belgium)

Europe’s regions and cities are being called on to make a decisive contribution to the smart, sustainable and inclusive objectives of Europe 2020. Drawing on the recent Commission communications on smart and sustainable growth this year’s edition of the Regions for Economic Change conference will explore tools and networks for smart and sustainable cities and regions and highlight excellent projects and initiatives to demonstrate the key contribution of regional policy to economic modernisation and the Europe 2020 goals. The event is targeted, as in previous years, to provide a policy learning platform to Structural Funds programme bodies, national, regional and local authorities and professional intermediaries, including their Brussels-based representatives and networks. Programme outline:

  • The first day of the conference will kick-off with a plenary session, a debate on “Smart specialisation for smart growth” and the official launch of the “Smart Specialisation Platform”, a new Commission initiative designed to offer assistance in drawing up regional smart specialisation strategies.
  • After lunch participants will have the opportunity to attend three parallel policy learning sessions, two of them dedicated to tools and networks for smart regions and one highlighting the urban dimension of smart growth.
  • The day will culminate in the celebrations of the RegioStars awards 2011 and a networking reception.
  • The second day will shift the main focus to sustainable growth with a plenary session and three parallel policy learning sessions dedicated to tools and networks for sustainable regions and one highlighting the specific urban dimension of sustainable growth.

In line with the integrated policy objectives of Europe 2020, representatives of other Commission DGs such as DG ENTR, RTD, ENER, INFSO will also play a key role as moderators and speakers at the conference, particularly in the “tools” and “networks” workshops, which will mix their policy presentations with good practice examples from Regional Policy. Active debate not only among panel participants but also involving the audience will be encouraged.

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