Programme 

​​​​​​​​​​Europe needs its regions and cities as much as they need Europe. At a crucial moment for the future of the European Union and for the implementation of the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, leaders of regions and cities will come together in Bucharest on 14 and 15 March 2019 to make their voice heard. A few weeks before the European elections and ahead of important decisions on the leadership of the EU's institutions for the years to come, this Summit of Regions and Cities will adopt a declaration setting out a vision for a renewed European Union. A European Union which works for its citizens. A  European Union which is built on:

  • democracy, in which regional and local government politicians are key players;
  • solidarity, which needs to be at the heart of ensuring no people or places are left behind;​
  • proximity, with a view to designing EU policies which take better account of local needs 
Thursday 14 March 2019
10:00-11:30
Event for Young Elected Politicians

​Interpretation: 
FR/DE/EN/RO/ES/PL 

Room: Nicolae Iorga
12:00-13:00
European Committee of the Regions Bureau meeting

​Interpretation:
FR/DE/EN/IT/NL/EL/ES/FI/CS/LT/PL/BG/RO (spoken); 
FR/DE/EN/IT/NL/DA/EL/ES/PT/FI/SV/CS/HU/LV/LT/PL/SK/BG/RO (understood)

Room: Alexandru I. Cuza
13:00-14:30
Light lunch
Room: Reception Hall
13:30-14:15
Press Conference

​Interpretation:
EN/RO (spoken); EN/RO/FR (understood)

Room: Spiru Haret
1 Opening Session
14:30-16:00
Welcoming address by

Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the European Committee of the Regions
​Gabriela Firea, Mayor of Bucharest​

Keynote speeches
Video speech by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission
Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă, Prime Minister of Romania

followed by a debate with the audience.​

​​​Interpretation: 
FR/DE/EN/IT/NL/EL/ES/FI/CS/LT/PL/BG/RO (spoken); 
FR/DE/EN/IT/NL/DA/EL/ES/PT/FI/SV/CS/HU/LV/LT/PL/SK/BG/RO (understood)

Room: Alexandru I. Cuza
16:00-16:30
Coffee break
2 Thematic debates | Making a difference to people’s lives
16:30-18:00

Room: Nicolae Bălcescu(1) Social cohesion and integration in regions and cities

The European Union has always been about social progress, not just shared prosperity and shared principles. Yet even today, almost one quarter of Europeans are at risk of poverty and social exclusion. The EU needs to invest more in social cohesion, which is the foundation of stable democracies, creating a sense of shared belonging and involving citizens actively in local political life. During this debate, participants will showcase how regions and cities are practically fostering social cohesion and integration to build a social Europe. The following questions will be addressed:
  • What are the success stories and lessons learned from social integration projects taking place in EU regions and cities?
  • How are social cohesion and integration taken into account in other policy fields?
  • How can the European Pillar of Social Rights help regions and cities deliver on the ground, both within and across borders; Whatis expected in the years to come?

Speakers:
Annika Annerby Jansson, President of the Regional Council of Skåne​, Sweden
Nathalie Appéré, Mayor of Rennes, France (tbc)
Philippe Close, Mayor of Brussels, Belgium
Adrian Florin Dobre, Mayor of the Municipality of Ploiești, Romania (tbc)

Interpretation: 
FR/DE/EN/IT/ES/RO (spoken); 
FR/DE/EN/IT/ES/RO (understood)

Room: Nicolae Iorga(2) EU regions and cities building a sustainable future

In line with its international environmental commitments, including the UN's Paris Climate Agreement and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the EU is committed to making the transition to a low-carbon economy. Creating a truly sustainable Europe largely depends on its regions and cities, which are responsible for areas such as air quality, transport, biodiversity, renewable energy, energy efficiency and waste management. This session will demonstrate how regions and cities are unlocking investment, driving innovation and showing ambition in the area of mitigating and adapting to climate change. It will consider how to strengthen their role in the design and delivery of the EU's environmental, climate and energy policies. The following questions will be addressed:

  • What are regions and cities doing to mitigate, adapt and become resilient to the effects of climate change?
  • Is the EU being ambitious enough when it comes to climate change and is it doing enough to enable cities and regions to make the transition to a carbon-neutral economy?
  • What do regional and local governments expect from the European Union with regard to the environment, climate and energy for the years to come?

Speakers:
Markku Markkula, First Vice-President of the European Committee of the Regions
Magnus BerntssonPresident of the Assembly of European Regions and of R20 (Regions for climate action) and Regional Minister of the Environment and Vice-President of the Regional Council of Västra Götaland, Sweden​
Vasco Alves Cordeiro, President of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions and of the Regional Government of Azores, Portugal​
Astrid Fodor, Mayor of the Municipality of Sibiu, Romania 

Interpretation:
FR/DE/EN/FI/RO (spoken); 
FR/DE/EN/PT/FI/RO​ (understood)

Room: Alexandru I. Cuza (3) Territorial cohesion to bring the EU’s citizens together

​​Ensuring economic, social and territorial cohesion among and within the regions and cities of the European Union is the most visible sign of solidarity for our citizens. EU cohesion policy is a success story and has made a major contribution to overcoming disparities between regions, modernising local infrastructure and helping people find jobs. All the European Union's citizens and places matter, and development strategies need to be rooted in strong local ownership and good governance at all levels. Moreover, broader awareness of the achievements of cohesion policy may be able to help improve citizens' sense of connection with the EU. The following questions will be addressed:

  • What opportunities does the reformed EU cohesion policy for the period 2021-2027 offer to regions and cities and how can they prepare for its implementation?
  • How can synergies between EU cohesion policy and other local, national and European policies be better exploited in the future?
  • How can citizens become more involved in place-based development strategies and how can cooperation and exchange of best practices between regions and cities be taken to the next level?

Speakers:
Corina Crețu, European Commissioner for Regional Policy
Rena Dourou, Regional Governor of Attica, Greece
Juraj Droba, President of the Bratislava Self-Governing Region, Slovakia
Oliver Paasch, President of the Association of European Border Regions and Minister-President of the German-speaking Community of Belgium

Interpretation: 
FR/DE/EN/EL/BG/RO (spoken); 
FR/DE/EN/EL/SK/BG/RO (understood)

18:00-18:30
Press Conference



3 Debate with EU regional and local leaders
18:30-20:00
Building a common future: what lessons learnt from Brexit?

Michel Barnier, European Chief Negotiator for the United Kingdom Exiting the European Union

In the context of Brexit and of the Summit's declaration on the future of Europe, the Chief Negotiator will discuss with local and regional leaders the role of regions and cities in EU policymaking in the years to come in order to build a stronger Europe.

Interpretation: 
FR/DE/EN/IT/NL/EL/ES/FI/CS/LT/PL/BG/RO (spoken); 
FR/DE/EN/IT/NL/DA/EL/ES/PT/FI/SV/CS/HU/LV/LT/PL/SK/BG/RO (understood)
Room: Alexandru I. Cuza
3 Reception and cultural event
20:30- 22:00
Welcoming by

Robert Sorin ​Negoiță, President of the Romanian delegation at the CoR

Interpretation:
EN/RO

Room: Romanian National Opera
Friday, 15 March 2019
4 Building the EU from the ground up with our regions and cities
09:00-10:00
Welcoming remarks by

Eugen Orlando Teodorovici, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Development and Public Administration, Interim (tbc) 

Working together to reinforce Europe
Keynote speech by
Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission (tbc)

followed by a debate with the audience​

Interpretation: 
FR/DE/EN/IT/NL/EL/ES/FI/CS/LT/PL/BG/RO (spoken); 
FR/DE/EN/IT/NL/DA/EL/ES/PT/FI/SV/CS/HU/LV/LT/PL/SK/BG/RO (understood)

Room: Alexandru I. Cuza
4 Keynote and debate
10:00-10:30
Coffee break
5 Thematic debates | The way forward for EU democratic revival
10:30-12:00

Room: Nicolae Iorga​(4) Active subsidiarity: shaping Europe together

The European Union needs to change the way it works by taking an inclusive and active approach to the EU decision-making process. Giving regions and cities more say in the development of EU policies can achieve better result​s and increase the added value of EU action. These were the findings of the Task Force on Subsidiarity and Proportionality, to which the European Committee of the Regions contributed significantly in 2018. It is now up to regional and local authorities and parliaments to make "active subsidiarity" a reality by getting involved in all phases of the policy cycle. This will include participating in the review of EU policy implementation through a new network of regional hubs launched by the European Committee of the Regions in January 2019. The questions put forward for debate in the session will be:​

  • ​What is "active subsidiarity" and how can it benefit European citizens?
  • What can regional and local authorities and parliaments do to become more actively involved in the design and review of EU policies?
  • How will the new network of "regional hubs" assess the implementation of EU policies and how will it fit into the active subsidiarity approach?
Speakers:
Iñigo Urkullu Renteria, President of the Regional Government of the Basque Country, Spain
Donatella Porzi, President of the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies and President of the regional assembly of Umbria, Italy
Mady Delvaux, Member of the European Parliament, Vice-chair of the committee in charge of Legal Affairs (tbc)
Peter Kaiser, Governor of Carinthia, Austria 
Dumitru Buzatu, President of Vaslui County Council, Romania (tbc)

Interpretation: 
FR/DE/EN/IT/ES/RO (spoken); 
FR/DE/EN/IT/ES/RO (understood)

Room: Nicolae Bălcescu(5) Strengthening European democracy: citizens' participation through local and regional authorities

In recent years, politicians at all levels have made efforts to involve and engage citizens in EU affairs. National governments, regional and local authorities and EU institutions have held thousands of citizens’ consultations and dialogues on the Future of Europe. The members of the European Committee of the Regions organised around 200 citizens' dialogues and set out lessons drawn from them in an Opinion adopted in October 2018. The Committee considers that a more coherent approach that is better coordinated across all levels of government could give more meaning and impact to "European Citizens’ Consultations". Common guiding principles and a streamlined methodology should be put in place for the next cycle of the European Union institutions. This session will address the following questions:


 
  • ​What are the lessons that can be drawn from citizens’ consultations and dialogues?
  • How can coordination be improved between the EU institutions, national, regional and local institutions and civil society organisations?
  • Could “European Citizens’ Consultations” become a means to make the ‘voice of the people’ more influential in EU decision-making? 

Speakers:
Luca Jahier, President of the European Economic and Social Committee
Elżbieta Anna Polak, Marshal of the Lubuskie Voivodeship​, Poland
Gilles Simeoni, President of the Executive Council of Corsica, France
Bettina Vollath, President of the regional assembly of Styria, Austria

Interpretation: 
FR/DE/EN/NL/PL/RO (spoken); 
FR/DE/EN/NL/PL/RO (understood)

Room: Alexandru I. Cuza (6) What young local and regional leaders expect from the EU

Young leaders of regions and cities (and youth in general) should become more involved in European affairs and efforts need to be done to make the EU more accessible. The Summit will welcome more than 100 young local leaders and listen to their views on how to make this happen in the years to come. This session will address the following questions:

  • ​How to better involve young elected leaders in European affairs?
  • How can the European Committee of the Regions establish a permanent exchange with young local and regional leaders?
  • What can EU regions, cities, parliaments and political parties do to increase engagement of young people in European affairs?
Speakers:
Carina Autengruber, President of the European Youth Forum (tbc)
Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, acting Mayor of Gdansk, Poland
Jiří Štěpán​, Governor of Hradec Králové​ Region, Czech Republic

Interpretation: 
FR/DE/EN/CS/PL/BG/RO (spoken); 
FR/DE/EN/CS/PL/BG/RO ​(understood)

12:00-12:15
Session 4 will be followed by a launching ceremony of the RegHub Network

Interpretation: 
FR/DE/EN/IT/ES/RO (spoken); 
FR/DE/EN/IT/ES/RO​ (understood)

6 Closing: The path to Sibiu and beyond
12:30-12:55
Delivery of the Summit Declaration

​Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the European Committee of the Regions
Markku Markkula, First Vice President of the European Committee of the Regions

Keynote speech - Governing the European Union together with its regions and cities 
Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania
Donald Tusk, President of the European Council (tbc)​

12:55-13:00
Closing remarks

Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the European Committee of the Regions

Interpretation: 
FR/DE/EN/IT/NL/EL/ES/FI/CS/LT/PL/BG/RO (spoken); 
FR/DE/EN/IT/NL/DA/EL/ES/PT/FI/SV/CS/HU/LV/LT/PL/SK/BG/RO (understood)

Room: Alexandru I. Cuza
13:00-14:00
Press Conference