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The Basque Country participates in the European Week of Regions and Cities for the 20th time

2023 October 23

Under the leadership of the European Union institutions, the European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC) is the main annual forum devoted to regional policy and the role of regions in the European and international agenda. During this annual four-day forum, cities and regions present and defend their capacity to generate growth, competitiveness and employment, as well as to implement the European Union's cohesion policy and demonstrate the importance of local and regional levels for good European governance.

Under the coordination of the Delegation of the Basque Country to the EU, and being the 20th consecutive year of Basque participation, the EWRC2023 is consolidated as the annual European event to influence and position the voice of Basque public authorities and socio-economic agents in the European agenda, facing the main European challenges as well as global challenges.

Since its first edition in 2003, this event has grown to become a unique communication and networking platform where political, representatives, civil servants, experts and academics from regions and cities all over Europe meet. The European Week of Regions and Cities has done a great deal of work to promote the use of EU funds by regions and cities to improve the daily lives of citizens.

More than 10,000 people — including no less than 1,000 speakers from all over Europe and beyond — took part in an extensive program of conferences and exhibitions related to regional and local development.

Basque Government representatives and socio-economic agents have taken part in various seminars and meetings held with European partners. At these meetings, good practices were discussed and presented in relation to the role of the regions in the challenges set by the 2030 Agenda, as well as interregional cooperation to meet the challenges of the triple transition, cultural and creative industries in the regional innovation ecosystem and renewable energies.

 

The Basque Country’s 20th time participating in the EWRC

The Basque Country delegate for the EU, Marta Marín, was invited to speak on behalf of the Regions4 network (a global network of regional authorities chaired by the Basque Government) at a seminar on global challenges, which was attended by representatives of other European networks and institutions. The Basque Government’s Brussels representative, presented the actions and initiatives promoted by the Basque Government in the field of the SDGs and Agenda 2030, highlighting the choice of Bilbao to host the UN Local Secretariat in the field of the SDGs and the Basque participation in the UN SDG Summit as well as the promotion of multi-agent forums. The representatives of the European institutions recognised the actions articulated by the Basque Government in the field of the SDGs and Agenda 2030, an example of good practice in the first Voluntary Report and it being an exercise in accountability that marks the international agenda.

In addition, a representative of the Basque Country delegation to the EU participated in a seminar organised together with other member regions of the Vanguard Initiative (Southern Netherlands, Northern Portugal, Asturias, Slovenia and Northeastern Romania) on the topic of post-industrial transition. Both the Basque Government representative and Patrick Brenier, representative of the European Commission, stressed the importance of interregional cooperation to face the challenges of the triple transition (technological-digital, energy-climate and social-health). Likewise, the Basque representative highlighted the fundamental role of the Smart Specialization Strategy of the Basque Country in facing the challenges related to the triple transition and promoting sustainable economic growth.

In the field of cultural and creative industries and innovation, the Basque Government was invited to participate in a forum to discuss regional ecosystems and regional policy, and the role of cultural and creative industries in local and regional development and sustainability. The technician from the Basque Government delegation presented the main activities and initiatives of the Basque Government in this regard, highlighting the main driving forces and examples in the 3 Basque provinces, as well as the added value of the Basque knowledge hub in the field of CCIs (KSIGUNE). The forum was organised by the main networks in the field of innovation and cultural and creative industries, and representatives of European institutions.

The Basque Energy Agency (EVE) also participated in the European Week of the Regions. The General Director of EVE, Iñigo Ansola, presented the Basque activities and initiatives in the field of renewable energies and their link with sustainability and competitiveness.

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Politicians attending the event