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European Committee of the Regions meets in Turku  

The City of Turku and the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities are hosting two different meetings of the European Committee of the Regions in Logomo on 12 and 13 September 2019. The European Committee of the Regions is a consultative body consisting of regional and local representatives from all 28 Member States. It is the official voice of cities and regions in the EU.

 The annual meeting of the Conference of the Regional and Local Authorities for the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP) will focus on how cities and regions can contribute to the EU's Eastern Partnership. Building the administrative capacity of local and regional authorities in the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaidzhan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) and promoting people-to-people contacts across borders are among the topics to be discussed on Thursday 12 September.
 
Finland's Minister for Economic Affairs Katri Kulmuni will present the priorities of Finland's presidency to the members of the Bureau of the European Committee of the Regions on Friday 13 September. During the second part of the meeting, the discussions will focus on developing skills for the future and on the impact of artificial intelligence on learning and education.
 
- The Finnish government has rightly placed common values, the rule of law, sustainability, and security at the heart of the EU's agenda. Investing in education and innovation in cities and regions is vital if we are to create a truly sustainable, inclusive and competitive Europe. In Turku we will debate how to boost local investment in education, skills and digitalisation. It will be an opportunity to hear how local projects in Turku are unleashing citizens' potential and how artificial intelligence can help transform our economy, Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the European Committee of the Regions, said.
 
Participants will get to know two local initiatives: STEAM Turku, which aims to increase the attractiveness of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education through a new model combining early childhood, basic and upper secondary level education, and OneSea autonomous maritime ecosystem.
 
- We are glad to have the opportunity to invite the members of the European Committee of the Regions and the representatives of the Eastern Partnership countries to Turku. It is important that Finland' EU Presidency events are organised across the country. The city of Turku has a strongly European identity and we are keen to be actively involved in bringing the EU closer to the local level and the citizens, Mayor of Turku Minna Arve said.