The European Week of Regions and Cities brings more than 6000 policy makers, regional authorities and other stakeholders to Brussels each year in October. This is naturally an excellent chance to discuss policy. For this year's edition (8-11 October), there were some special topics on the agenda, ranging from the 'Future of Europe' and the post-2020 Cohesion Policy to various different thematic issues.

While it was not possible to join all 150+ sessions and contribute to or follow each of the debates during the week, we did manage to cover quite a bit of ground thanks to our projects and their active and engaged partners. See below for a couple of selected highlights.

Workshops, talks, discussions and other sessions

We teamed up with ESPON, Interact and Urbact to explore the ways 'Towards a user-centric digital public sector'. In the session, the Interreg Europe perspective and the inputs from interregional cooperation were shared by ERUDITE project's Emilija Stojmenova. 

The OSIRIS project had quite a week. They organised an interactive, participatory session to demonstrate how an open innovation loop enhances open and social reserach and innovation projects for digital transformation and inclusive governance. If that wasn't enough, they also found time for a project meeting with all the partners to discuss their action plans for the future, popped in for a presentation at our stand in the Agora exhibition, and celebrated the RegioStars award won by their Portuguese partners in Fundao for supporting smart industrial transition.

Another project, SHARE, put together an EURegions Talk titled 'Sustainability and cultural heritage: is the the only way forward', which was presented to a live audience and streamed on Facebook (if you missed it, you can watch it here). The project representatives also spotted their own project featured in an exhibition promoting the recently published e-book 'Connecting cultures, connected citizens' which introduces a collection of Interreg projects working on cultural heritage. 

Demonstrating synergies between projects, ecoRIS3, Urban M and Design4Innovation joined forces to discuss and brainstorm ideas on innovation and design thinking in their session 'the Catalyst for Innovation'.

To showcase how to turn interregional experience into practice, HoCare project presented their approach and introduced the action plan of Cyprus in a side event organised by Reconfirm Network and DG GROW of the European Commission. 

In addition to the examples mentioned here, several other projects were present in Brussels as well, either as organisers, contributors or participants in many of the sessions during the week. A longer list is available here

The official proceedings will be available soon on the #EURegionsWeek website.

This article is Part II in a series of #EURegionsWeek highlights. See also Part I and Part III for more!