Regions & Austerity
08.10.12 @ 08:41
BRUSSELS - For one week every year European regions are in the spotlight. It’s called Open Days, lasts a week, and is dedicated to all issues regional and local.
From every corner of the continent, thousands of local leaders and administrators come to Brussels to talk directly to EU officials and lawmakers. It is a time of networking, exchanging ideas and passing on information.
It is also about celebrating the best of what Europe can produce. An array of local products – foods, wines, regional specialities – will fill the Belgian capital from 8 -11 October.
But this year’s regional get-together will be more political than usual. The same economic crisis that has led to austerity in local governance is also directly affecting the EU’s negotiations on its next longterm budget. Meanwhile, regional calls for more influence or even outright independence are getting stronger.
It is against this complex backdrop that EUobserver takes Europe’s regional temperature.