Attending the European Week of Regions and Cities in Brussels

In the week from 10th to 13th October 2016 in Brussels a four-day event was held, called the European Week of Regions and Cities (European Week of Regions and Cities) or OPEN DAYS.

Besides the Director of Municipal Administration Grosuplje, MSc. Dušan Hočevar, Mayor of the Municipality of Grosuplje, Dr. Peter Verlič and the Mayor of the Municipality of Trebnje, Alojzij Kastelic, the event was also attended by the Head of IDC, Mrs. Jasmina Selan and me.

If you are a newly founded development centre and feel like a toddler that is learning to walk, but would like to run as soon as possible, this is "the thing to do" or rather “the event to visit”. If not sooner you should understand why after the description of this experience.

Our Head Jasmina had already had a lot of work before leaving for Brussels, she namely arranged appointments with important decision-makers at European level in advance. We arrived to Brussels on Monday morning and after accommodating in a hotel we immediately set out to meetings that turned out to be of fundamental importance for our future work. During the four days we have, in addition to workshops organized by the European Commission and the Committee of the Regions, participated in operational meetings and among other got a chance to talk with dr. Milan Zver, MEP and standing rapporteur for the Erasmus + Programme, Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport, Aldo Xhani, Office Manager of the ALDA European Association for Local Democracy in Brussels, Dr. Draško Veselinovič, President of the SBRA and many others. Their advices were and still are of inestimable importance for our future work and cooperation with some of Brussels and other European institutions.

The acquaintances, which we made after the otherwise very topical and educational workshops, gave the whole experience an even higher value. Given the number of visitors of the EUWRC - the four-day event was in fact attended by around 6,000 participants and 600 speakers from all over Europe and beyond - and the program, which included about 100 workshops, debates, exhibitions and events for networking on regional and local development, it is clear that we met many potential partners from different parts of Europe and made a lot of new acquaintances. We will certainly try to find common goals and content with them for the implementation of joint projects.

I never thought that it is possible to get to know so many good practices and to gain that much knowledge and experience in the field of regional and urban development in only four days, in particular to hear all the useful information provided by the EU institutions and get so many contacts with colleagues from other countries, which are very important for our professional management of EU funds.

Mateja Zupančič


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