Programme

Monday, 1 March 2021

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Thursday, 4 March 2021

Friday, 5 March 2021

9:30-11:15

Opening Ceremony *

Master of ceremony

  • Diana Madill - Journalist

Moderation

  • Normunds Popens, Deputy Director-General, DG Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission

Opening addresses

  • Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, European Commission
  • Joël Giraud - French State Secretary for Rural Affairs representing the Presidency of the four Macro-Regional Strategies

Special address

  • Jean Jouzel – Climatologist and former vice-chair of the Scientific Working Group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Closing address

  • Cees Loggen - President of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) and Regional Minister of Noord-Holland

* Translation from French ↔ English will be provided.

11:15-11:30

Networking Break

11:30-13:00

Involvement of civil society organisations in macro-regional strategies *

This session aims at giving the floor to representatives of civil society organisation in all macro-regional strategies (MRS) with the objective to exchange opinions on how to better involve the public in the decision making process of MRS, on capitalising on existing initiatives and on how to incentivize new ideas for better involvement of civil society organisations.

In this context, preliminary findings of the Citizen’s Shadow Report will be presented by the European House to highlight experiences of civil society organisations (CSO) in the macro-regions to prepare an implementation report on EU macro-regional policies from the public’s perspective and to put forward concrete proposals for the future.

* Translation from French ↔ English will be provided.

13:00-14:00

Lunch break

14:00-15:30

Youth Dialogue *

As 2020 marked the 30 years of the EU’s flagship cooperation scheme “Interreg”, the European Commission coordinated the publication of the “Manifesto for Young People by Young People to Shape the European Cooperation Policy” with a group of young people from the “Interreg Volunteer Youth” (IVY), Macro Regional Strategies (MRS), youth platforms and beyond.

The Manifesto was officially presented to high-level decision makers on 15 October 2020 during the Interreg Annual Event including 12 recommendations for better youth involvement. Listening to young generations expressing their concerns is crucial to make the #NextGenerationEU in line with youth’s needs.

Therefore, this session will give the opportunity to young people to express their recommendations to policy makers and to make their voice heard on what needs to change to tackle the challenges of their future.

The Youth Dialogue will be an interactive exchange among young people from the four macro-regions, representatives from the EUSBSR, EUSDR, EUSAIR and EUSALP and the following representatives from the European Commission:

  • Themis Christophidou, Director-General, DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC), European Commission
  • Marc Lemaitre, Director-General, DG Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission

* Translation from French ↔ English will be provided.

15:30-15:45

Networking Break

15:45-17:45

Support of macro-regional strategies to the COVID-19 recovery *

As an immediate response to the pandemic, the EU macro-regional strategies (MRS) made efficient use of their governance structures to agree upon specific initiatives to support the recovery, which will be presented in this session.

In the first part, Mr Georges Drakopoulos will highlight the results and recommendations for the severely hit tourism sector based on the study “Expert advice on cooperation in tourism industry during the pandemic crisis”, launched by DG REGIO in 2020. Mrs Vlasta Klaric, expert in sustainable tourism and cultural heritage in the EUSAIR will explain how the respective Thematic Steering Group of this Strategy has drawn on common actions for the tourism of tomorrow.

In case of the EUSALP, the campaign on the “Solidarity in Alpine Region” has been setup (presented by Ms Christiane Barret and Mr Nicolas Plain). This initiative is based on the Manifesto "Together to shape a sustainable and resilient Alpine region" approved by the participating countries and regions involved in the EUSALP. The Manifesto aims a.o. at preserving the biodiversity in the Alps and at preventing exposure to natural risks linked to climate change.

A cross-MRS initiative led by the EUSDR and EUSBSR is “Innovation Express 2.0” with the objective to develop new value chains amongst companies within a macro-region by supporting cluster-to-cluster cooperation for which a model of synchronized calls will be used (presented by Dr. Judit Schrick-Szenczi).

The second part will focus on “MRS implicit actions”, which derive in connection with other initiatives and strategies.

Mrs Anabela Marques Santos from the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission will give the background on the role of the Smart Specialisation Strategy to tackle the COVID.10 crisis in short and medium term. As an example of inter-regional collaboration, the coordinator of a new partnership of six EU regions and countries, Mr. Sander Muenster, from the Time Machine organisation, will present the pilot action on “Sustainable and Digital tourism”, winner of a new EU-funded initiative.

The “Routes4U” project will be showcased for adaptive communication campaigns towards extensively digital and innovative undertakings of creative and cultural industries.

* Translation from French ↔ English will be provided.

Parallel sessions

09:00-12:00

EUSAIR Governing Board

The Governing Board (GB) will be chaired by the Slovenian Presidency of the EUSAIR. This biannual meeting will gather all standing members of the GB to provide strategic guidance with respect to management and implementation of the EUSAIR and its Action Plan.

09:00-12:00

EUSBSR National Coordinators Meeting

Regular meeting of the EUSBSR National Coordinators to discuss the way ahead of the strategy, led by the German Presidency of the EUSBSR.

09:00-12:00

EUSALP Embedding Workshop Part I

As the EU macro-regional strategies (MRS) do not have their own resources, their implementation depends on bundling funds from different sources. Therefore, the success or failure of the MRS is ultimately linked to their capacity to ensure that EU, national, regional, and other public and private funds are aligned with the priorities of the relevant strategy. Bridging the gap between the MRS’s needs and funding opportunities will therefore be a critical challenge for 2021-2027.
A first EUSALP embedding workshop took place on 19th February 2020. It kicked off the dialogue between EUSALP key implementers (National Coordinators and Action Groups) and ESF/ERDF mainstream and Interreg programmes and centrally managed EU funding programmes.

Now is the time to take stock on the progresses made and to pave the way to future developments by agreeing on next steps and on how to continue the dialogue.
The general purpose of this workshop is to work out ways of more efficient financial support to the EUSALP implementation in particular by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund), ESF (European Social Fund), EAFRD (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development) programmes as well as to increase coordination across relevant macro-regional, national and regional stakeholders.

The workshop will include a plenary session followed by 4 parallel workshops on the following topics: 1) Hydrogen 2) Digital innovation and smart lands – including digital innovation hub and smart villages 3) Sustainable mobility 4) Natural risks management.

12:00-13:00

Lunch Break

Parallel sessions

13:00-15:00

EUSALP Embedding Workshop Part II

Continuation of the morning session.

13:00-15:00

Coffee with the German Presidency of the EUSBSR

This informal meeting aims to foster an open and regular exchange between the National Coordinators Group and the Policy Area Coordinators, addressing relevant topics to the EUSBSR.

13:00-15:15

Contribution of EUSAIR/EUSDR priorities to the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans

The aim of the event is to explore how the agreed priorities of macro-regional strategies (flagships for the EUSAIR) match with those of the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans (EIP for WB) and its flagships (i) to facilitate a quick start of the implementation of macro-regional projects and (ii) to speed up the economic recovery of the Western Balkans

To make the event more concrete, the focus will be on a limited number of selected topics or "cases" where the strongest links for EUSAIR and EUSDR priorities with the EIP for WB have been identified and where Western Balkan countries coordinate pillars/priority areas. The topics corresponding to these criteria are environment (for EUSAIR) and transport (for EUSDR). Pillar/Priority coordinators from the two macro-regional strategies will take the floor to present needs and concrete plans for the future, in line with the EIP for the WB.

The participation and involvement of NIPAC offices/ representatives and EU Delegations is deemed important for the key role they will have in this process.

15:30-18:00

Joint NC/PAC meeting of the EUSDR

This will be the first meeting of EUSDR National and Priority Area Coordinators under the Slovak Presidency of the EUSDR.

09:00-12:00

Cross macro-regional strategies embedding workshop

The “embedding” process, or more simply said, the inclusion of MRS priorities in national/regional ‘mainstream’ EU funding programmes 2021-2027, has become central to the activities of all Macro-Regional Strategies. This means, for EU and non EU countries participating in MRS, to make sure that their relevant EU funding programmes as well as IPA and NDICI strategic documents support the objectives of the MRS and that, in return, MRS help the programmes to be more effective and to produce stronger economic, social and territorial impacts.

This workshop will offer a cross-MRS exchange to take stock of the efforts of MRS implementers in cooperation with the programmes authorities to ‘embed’ relevant MRS priorities/projects in EU funding (mainstream) programmes 2021-2027.

A tour de table will allow for exchange of best practices, successful initiatives/working methods between MRS key implementers and programmes authorities in the current process but also about challenges encountered.

12:00-13:00

Lunch Break

13:00-14:00

Cross embedding IPA workshop

For the EUSAIR and the EUSDR, the embedding process is not only focused on EU cohesion policy programmes but also on IPA national/regional programmes in the Western Balkan countries of the two macro-regional strategies. The relevant priorities of the EUSAIR and EUSDR should be taken on board by the IPA mainstream programmes since the outset.
This process has the big potential to multiply the impact of each action, but it is not easy to realize. Multi-level and multi-sectoral action and cooperation is needed. In the Western Balkans, this means to put EUSAIR/EUSDR key implementers, NIPAC offices and EU Delegations at the same table and to make them plan and implement macro-regional projects together.

The objective of this workshop, moderated by Interact, is to pull together the main actors of the IPA “embedding process” in the EUSAIR and EUSDR, to present the new IPA III programming framework and to open a discussion on how to achieve the objective in cooperation.

14:00-14:15

Networking Break

14:15-15:15

Cross embedding NDICI workshop

As the embedding of macro-regional priorities in the 2021-2027 EU funds programmes is the most important exercise for all Strategies in 2021, it is useful to keep each other updated on the ongoing processes.
This workshop will specifically focus on embedding the relevant EUSDR priorities in the national/regional NDICI programmes of Ukraine and Moldova. During the workshop, the state of play of the NDICI regulation will be presented as well as the embedding tool developed by the Danube Strategy Point to screen actions of the EUSDR Action Plan.

15:30-17:30

Workshop on the alignment of directly/indirectly-managed EU programmes with the EU macro-regional strategies

The workshop will be a brainstorming between the European Commission and the representatives of EU 27 Member States in order to discuss the precise scope of the Council conclusions of 2 December 2020 on the 3rd report on the implementation of the EU MRS, calling on the alignment of the EU directly/indirectly managed programmes with the EU MRS.

The workshop will bring together representatives of all EU Member States and the Commission departments responsible for the directly/indirectly-managed EU programmes that are relevant for macro-regional strategies (Horizon Europe, Digital Europe, Connecting Europe Facility, Life, Single Market Programme, Erasmus+). The aim will be to exchange views about what is expected and what is feasible with regard to aligning these programmes (while respecting their objectives and integrity) with the MRS. This session will be moderated by DG Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission

09:00-10:15

Macro-regional strategies and HORIZON EUROPE

Information session on the opportunities offered by the Horizon Europe programme to support EU macro-regional strategies projects and initiatives with participation of DG Research and Innovation (DG RTD), European Commission.

Participants are the MRS implementers (coordinators and members of the MRS thematic steering/action groups).

10:15-10:30

Networking Break

10:30-11:30

Macro-regional strategies and DIGITAL EUROPE

Information session on the opportunities offered by the Digital Europe programme to support the EU macro-regional strategies projects and initiatives with participation of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CNECT), European Commission.

Participants are the MRS implementers (coordinators and members of the MRS thematic steering/action groups).

11:30-11:45

Networking Break

11:45-12:45

Macro-regional strategies and the Connecting Europe Facility

Information session on the opportunities offered by the Connecting Europe Facility to support the EU macro-regional strategies projects and initiatives with participation of DG Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) and DG Energy (DG ENER), European Commission.

Participants are the MRS implementers (coordinators and members of the MRS thematic steering/action groups).

12:45-14:00

Lunch Break

14:00-15:00

Macro-regional strategies and LIFE

Information session on the opportunities offered by the LIFE programme to support the EU macro-regional strategies projects and initiatives with participation of EASME - Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.

Participants are the MRS implementers (coordinators and members of the MRS thematic steering/action groups).

15:00-15:15

Networking Break

15:15-16:15

Macro-regional strategies and the Single Market Programme

Information session on the opportunities offered by the Single Market programme to support the EU macro-regional strategies projects and initiatives with participation of DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW), European Commission.

Participants are the MRS implementers (coordinators and members of the MRS thematic steering/action groups).

16:15-16:30

Networking Break

16:30-17:30

Macro-regional strategies and ERASMUS+

Information session on the opportunities offered by the ERASMUS+ programme to support the EU macro-regional strategies projects and initiatives with participation of DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC), European Commission.

Participants are the MRS implementers (coordinators and members of the MRS thematic steering/action groups).

09:00-13:00

13th High Level Group Meeting

The High Level Group (HLG) on EU macro-regional strategies (MRS) gathers the representatives from all EU Member States as well as those from the non-EU countries participating in the MRS. The HLG is chaired by the European Commission – DG Regional and Urban Policy. The other EU institutions are invited to participate and contribute to the debate.

The HLG is mandated to ensure coordination and share good practices among the EU macro-regional strategies, to evaluate the progress on their implementation, and to provide strategic guidance.

The main aim of the 13th HLG meeting of 5 March 2021 is to discuss the role that macro-regional strategies should play in the 2021-2027 programming period, notably with regard to post Covid-19 sustainable and resilient recovery of the macro-regions, whilst supporting the Union’s green and digital priorities.

13:00-14:00

Lunch Break

14:00-15:30

4th meeting of the Presidencies of the four MRS and Trio

The meeting is co-organised by the French chairmanship of the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region, providing a platform for the four presidencies of macro-regional strategies and trios for better coordination, exchange of good practices and good preparation for the programming period 2021-2027.