The 17th edition of the European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC), organized by the European Committee of the Regions and DG Regio, was held under the slogan “' Regions and Cities, pillars of EU's future” in Brussels from 7th to 10th October 2019.
Within the EWRC 2019, AP Vojvodina was a part of the regional partnership “Europe of Opportunities” with the following regions: ALPEUREGIO (Tyrol, South Tyrol, Trentino); Carinthia (Austria); Union of Municipalities of Attica Region (P.E.D.A; Greece); Veneto Region, Marche Region, Friuli Venezia Giulia Autonomous Region (Italy); Nordland county (Norway); Pomorskie Region, Kujawsko-Pomorskie Region (Poland); Bouches-du-Rhône, Marseille (France); Castilla –La Mancha, Municipality of Castellón (Spain). The Lead Partner was the Italian region of Veneto.
The provincial delegation attending the event was led by István Pásztor, President of the Assembly of AP Vojvodina. The opening ceremony was held at the European Parliament on 7th October 2019.
President Pásztor had a meeting with Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the Committee of the Regions, on 7th October 2019.
Mr. Lambertz expressed his support and appreciation for the Vojvodina European Office in Brussels, i.e. activities that the whole province was undertaking in the area of interregional cooperation. President Pásztor informed Mr. Lambertz about the ongoing affairs regarding the integration of the Republic of Serbia to the EU and expressed hope that the process of enlargement to the Western Balkan countries would be more viable in the coming period, i.e. during the term of office of the European Commission to be appointed. President Lambertz agreed with it and expressed confidence that the institution he headed would do its best to contribute to a positive attitude towards Serbia’s further integration to the EU.
Marking Vojvodina Day in Brussels, the “Vojvodina – Future Unlimited” Reception was held at the Mission of the Republic of Serbia to the European Union on 7th October 2019.
The reception was attended by a large number of representatives of European cities and regions, as well as representatives of EU institutions. The invitees were welcomed by the President of the Assembly of AP Vojvodina István Pásztor, Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to the EU Ana Hrustanović and Assistant Provincial Secretary for Regional Development, Interregional Cooperation and Local Self-Government Nebojša Drakulić.
The reception was attended by about 150 guests, among them were several MEPs, ambassadors, diplomats, representatives of EU institutions, high officials of several European regions, businessmen from Belgium, etc. At the reception, the OPENS19 Foundation had its promotional booth. The programme also involved a performance by Pannonia String Quartet and a promotional film about Vojvodina was shown.
Given the City of Novi Sad holds the title Youth Capital of Europe 2019, one of the significant events at the EWRC 2019 was the presentation of youth policies of the City of Novi Sad and the Province of Vojvodina.
The workshop "Cohesion policy for a more social Europe: Regions and Cities inclusive for all" involving three different panels was held at the European Committee of the Regions on 8th October 2019.
The partnership was used to present youth and social policies that the Foundation “OPENS19” implemented though projects on behalf of the City of Novi Sad, the European Youth Capital for 2019. The speaker on behalf of AP Vojvodina at the panel discussion, which was attended by about two hundred participants, was the representative of "OPENS19" Katarina Živanović.
A number of speakers sought to demonstrate how the implementation of local and regional policies could actively contribute to building a "more social Europe", in line with the broader perspective of one of the Sustainable Development Goals - sustainable cities and communities. The workshop presented strategies and examples of best practice of local and regional authorities on socially responsible legislation and examples of implementation of Cohesion Policy with a focus on inclusive approach. As part of the third panel, Novi Sad was presented as the holder of the title European Youth Capital for 2019, when Katarina Živanović, Assistant Coordinator for International Cooperation, presented the activities of OPENS so far and plans for the future. Within the framework of the third panel, positive examples from two Polish regions and one French region were presented in addition to the OPENS representative. The speakers were Dominique Hanania, Deputy-Director for Environment, Major Projects and Research, Bouches-du-Rhône Department, France, Katarzyna Ziemann, Deputy Director, Social Innovation Lab in Gdynia, Poland, and Adam Szponka, Director, Regional Centre for Social Policy, Poland.
On 8 October, Vidosava Enderić, Director of the European Affairs Fund of AP Vojvodina, had a meeting with Marco Zanni, MEP, who had paid a working visit to the Fund at the beginning of the month. The focus of discussion at the meeting was on future cooperation in the field of tourism and EU projects.
The delegation of AP Vojvodina also had a meeting with the delegation of the German federal state of Hesse, led by Marc Weinmeister, State Secretary for European Affairs. The meeting was also attended by the heads of the offices of Vojvodina and of Hesse in Brussels, Srdjan Mačkić and Friedrich von Heusinger, respectively. The offices in Brussels made a significant contribution to the cooperation of the two regions, and on this occasion, the topic of discussion was the continuation of cooperation, i.e. its institutionalization by signing the cooperation agreement.
The meeting with Hesse was held on 8th October 2019, whereas the signing of the cooperation agreement was to take place in November 2019.