Committee of the Regions & Slovakian government strengthen cooperation ahead of 2016 EU Presidency

Met dank overgenomen van Comité van de Regio's (CvdR) i, gepubliceerd op vrijdag 20 november 2015.

EU Summit of Regions and Cities to be held in Bratislava 8-9 July 2016

Boosting investment, improving regional cooperation and creating better EU regulation were at the centre of talks between the President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), Markku Markkula, and the Slovakian Deputy Prime Minister i, Ľubomír Vážny in Bratislava today. Meeting ahead of Slovakia's Presidency of the Council of the EU that begins on 1 July next year, President Markkula offered his full support to the Slovakian government. The CoR, he said, would make an important contribution by organising the next edition of the European Summit of Regions and Cities in Bratislava in 2016.

Deputy Prime Minister Ľubomír Vážny said of the event, "We are very happy that the CoR decided to organise the Summit in Slovakia. Europe's regions and cities can count on the full support and active participation of the Slovak government in this major event. In regards to this Summit, we have common interest in at least three main areas: maintaining a strong and result-oriented cohesion policy together with simplifying its implementation; dealing with infrastructural territorial disparities and finding ways to address them; and improving the entrepreneurial and innovation capacity of cities and regions"

President Markkula stressed that the CoR priority is to ensure cohesion policy and the EU Investment Plan focuses on improving transport, digital and energy infrastructure to reinforce cross-border cooperation between EU regions. "In order to ensure the right results, we need better and simpler delivery of EU funds in our communities. Only in this way can we stimulate the economy and boost growth"

The CoR President and Deputy Prime Minister talked extensively about the Slovakian EU Presidency priorities and how Europe's cities and regions could especially contribute in supporting young people; investing in the Danube macro-region; and creating entrepreneurial cities and regions. President Markkula shared plans on the next European Summit of Regions and Cities. Organised in partnership with both the City and Region of Bratislava, the Summit will give particular attention to digitalisalisation, entrepreneurship and energy infrastructure between EU regions.

The meeting was also attended by Pavol Frešo, President of the Bratislava Region, Ivo Nesrovnal, Mayor of Bratislava and Jozef Dvonc, Mayor of Nitra, all of whom are CoR members.

About the 7th European Summit of Regions and Cities, Bratislava, 8-9 July 2016

The 7th European Summit of Cities and Regions will be held in cooperation with the Bratislava City and Region on 8-9 July 2016. The Summit is expected to attract over 800 participants including local and regional politicians and EU leaders. The overall theme of the summit will be "Connecting regions and cities" Connecting people (digital entrepreneurship); Connecting places (infrastructure); and Connecting resources (energy, finances).