From 6-9 October 2014, some 6,000 representatives from Europe’s regions and cities will gather in Brussels for the 12th annual OPEN DAYS to exchange their views on how making the reformed EU Cohesion Policy a reality for job creation and growth. The reform was spearheaded by European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn. It has transformed the Policy into a modern and result-focussed investment tool for all European regions, and concentrated the bulk of resources on key sectors, such as innovation, SME competitiveness, information and communication technologies (ICT) and the shift to a low-carbon economy.
“We need to ensure the planned use of EU investments in Member States is going to deliver on Europe2020 goals, as we have designed it to do. In the Partnership Agreements and the Operational Programmes for 2014-2020 that we have seen so far, a clear shift is evident to investment in the “real” economy. This means support for SMEs, R&D and innovation, labour market measures, education, the fight against poverty and of course support for the low-carbon economy. We need to ensure that all regions across Europe do indeed ‘grow together’ and that carefully planned and inclusive strategies paving the way to future competitiveness are the starting point,” said European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn.
Cohesion Policy has a total budget of around €352 billion for the 2014–2020 financial period.