A record 217 regions and cities from 32 countries have signed up as partners for the OPEN DAYS 2008 European Week of Regions and Cities, the biggest annual gathering of EU and regional policy-makers, experts and representatives of banking, business and civil society groups operator in the regional policy sector.
As in previous years, the regions and cities have divided themselves into thematic conglomerates. Partners from 26 Member States are represented while others come from Turkey, Croatia, Norway, Switzerland and – for the first time – Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iceland. The highest number of regions and cities come from France (22), Italy and Spain (19), the United Kingdom (18), and Poland (17).
More than 5,000 participants are expected to take part in the event.
Under the overall title of "Regions and cities in a challenging world", the Brussels programme will feature 120 seminars and debates on four themes:
- Innovating regions: Promoting research, technological development and innovation
- Sustainable development: Regional responses to climate change
- Cooperation and networking: Exchange of best practice in regional development
- Looking forward: A European cohesion policy for tomorrow.
Thirty partners from the financial and private sector and civil society organisations will hold up to 40 seminars in the framework of the OPEN DAYS Investors' Café, the main meeting place for public and private stakeholders in the Committee of the Regions building