Sunday

1st Aug 2021

Magazine

Regions & Austerity

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.

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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.

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The European Commision has started banging the drum for a new €50bn pot of money that it says will reinvigorate Europe's economy. But the aid is unlikely to make it through budget negotiations unscathed.

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A deep dive into the EU regional funds

While the regional funds account for a full third of the EU budget, they are somewhat under-reported. EUobserver's latest edition of the Regions & Cities magazine looks at the EU's cohesion policy.

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A tourist's guide to EU-funded Amsterdam

When it comes to projects paid for by EU regional funds, most people think of roads in Romania or bridges in Bulgaria. But richer regions also receive money. EUobserver takes you on a tour of selected projects in Amsterdam.

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Tug of war between 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' cohesion money

The European Commission has promised greater flexibility for local authorities when it comes to delivering on-the-ground results - but it has also tied cohesion policy to the European Semester, a tool used to coordinate macroeconomic policies.

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