Written by Christiaan Van Lierop,
Drawing over 6 000 participants to Brussels for four days of discussion and discovery from 7 to 10 October 2019, the European Week of Regions and Cities is the world’s largest annual gathering of local and regional representatives. Already a firm fixture on the calendar of Europe’s regional movers and shakers, this year’s event looks set to be another showstopper, with well over 200 sessions planned as part of the official programme. Building on the success of last year’s move to downtown Brussels, the EWRC will once again be held at the Square conference centre – and the EPRS is thrilled to be taking part again this year.
Taking place under the headline banner of Regions and Cities: Pillars of the EU’s future, the 2019 EWRC provides a unique platform for EU regions and cities to share their ideas on how best to translate the Commission’s cohesion proposals into concrete projects. With discussions at this year’s event also covering topics such as a Europe closer to citizens, a greener Europe and a smarter Europe, among others, participants will certainly have plenty to talk about.
As in past years, the EPRS has also published a Topical Digest to tie in with the event. Prepared exclusively for the 2019 EWRC, the publication features a selection of briefings and studies published by the European Parliament on many of the key topics up for discussion at the EWRC, such as regional inequalities in the EU, the Urban Agenda or financial instruments in cohesion policy among many others. Our experts will also be present at a special information stand during the whole week to provide more information about EPRS research activities, and to distribute some of our specialist publications on regional policy and beyond.
But there’s much more to our participation than just swapping business cards with visitors. For the fifth year running, EPRS will also be organising a workshop on research as part of the European Week of Regions and Cities’ Master Class on EU cohesion policy for students and early career researchers. To help put participants in the picture, we will be looking at how EPRS supports the work of the European Parliament during the policy making process, and consider how closer links may be established between researchers in the academic world and policy-makers in the EU institutions. As in previous years, we will be encouraging participants to get actively involved in the discussions, which will also examine how to enhance the communication of cohesion policy and consider future trends and topics for cohesion policy research. Above all, we want to hear what they have to say – and this is no empty promise on our part. After the event, we will commit to publishing participants’ findings on our website, staying true to the words of our EPRS motto, ‘Empowering through knowledge’.