This event, organised by European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, took place on 6 February 2020 in Brussels. It brought together citizens, representatives of civil society, politicians, policy-makers and academia from across the EU and beyond.

In her political guidelines for the future Commission, President-elect Ursula von der Leyen expressed her will for European citizens to play a leading and active part in building the future of our Union. The importance of more citizen engagement has been recognised and strengthened in the Lisbon Treaty with the European citizens’ initiative and in a number of documents and political declarations, such as the Commission contribution to the Sibiu Declaration for a “new strategic agenda for the EU 2019-2024”.

With this in mind, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy organised a conference on engaging citizens and civil society in Cohesion Policy. The conference focused on how to ensure closer cooperation with citizens and civil society in the governance and implementation of Cohesion Policy and management of dedicated EU funds. Through a more active citizens’ engagement, institutions will become even more transparent and accountable, while investments will bring more and bigger results on the ground.

In its different sessions and workshops, the conference addressed the following topics:

  • How can citizens and civil society contribute to good governance in Cohesion Policy?
  • How do we bring Cohesion Policy closer to citizens?
  • What are the experiences from cooperation between authorities and citizens across Europe?

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