Regions and cities supporting growth and jobs

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The Committee of the Regions’ contribution to the Europe 2020 strategy's seven flagship initiatives

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Regions and cities supporting growth and jobs

  1. 1. EUROPEAN UNIONCommittee of the RegionsEUROPEAN UNIONCommittee of the RegionsRegions and cities supporting growth and jobsThe Committee of the Regions’contributionto the Europe 2020 strategys seven flagship initiativesPublished by the Directorate for Communication, Press and EventsFebruary 2013Rue Belliard/Belliardstraat 101 – 1040 Bruxelles/Brussels – Belgique/BelgiëTel. +32 25468202 – Fax +32 22822085www.cor.europa.eu@EU_CoR – #EU2020QG-32-13-021-EN-CCoR_1778_February_2013_EN
  2. 2. Catalogue number QG-32-13-021-EN-CISBN-13 978-92-895-0656-4DOI 10.2863/66044© European Union, 2013Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledgedPrinted in Belgium, on 100% recycled paper (excluding cover)
  3. 3. The Committee of the Regions is the EU’s assembly of local and regional representatives. Since 1994 itstask has been to represent and defend the interests of local and regional authorities in the Europeandecision-making process. There is broad agreement that Europe’s economic recovery depends on thesuccess of its strategy for smart, green and inclusive growth and ownership of the strategy by regionaland local authorities. The Europe 2020 strategy is among the most important political priorities of theCommittee of the Regions. At the same time, it provides direction for a number of EU programmesthat are currently being redesigned with a view to the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020,in particular for the next generation of cohesion policy programmes. Finally, economic recovery and“Europe 2020”form an essential part of the mid-term communication priorities of all EU institutions.Regional and local authorities are responsible for the delivery of a number of priorities of the Europe2020 strategy, including the majority of public investments and the implementation of EU programmes.ManyregionsandcitiesarealreadymakingtheEurope2020strategytheirpointofreferenceformid-termeconomic and social development plans. Cohesion policy programmes, the new Common StrategicFramework and the European Code of Conduct on Partnership are the elements that – between 2014and 2020 – are most likely to have a positive impact in lending increased visibility to “2020” througha new generation of regional development programmes. However, multilevel governance and anintegrated territorial approach could play an even more significant role in implementing the strategy,for example when it comes to the sharing of experience between regions and cities from differentMember States.In 2013, the Committee of the Regions is organising a series of conferences under the heading“Regionsand cities supporting Europe’s growth strategy”. The series culminates in the 6thEuropean Summit ofRegions and Cities in spring 2014 and the mid-term assessment of the Europe 2020 strategy from theperspective of the CoR. The conferences on the flagship initiatives are organised together with theEuropean Parliament, the European Commission and stakeholders from cities and regions. Europeanassociations are invited to contribute to events according to their interest in the topics.The conferencesare targeted at representatives from regional and local authorities, EU institutions, private and financialinstitutions, social partners and civil society.In spring 2014, a selection of good practices covering the different flagship initiatives will be presentedin Brussels. In the next two and a half years, the CoR Monitoring Platform will also continue to track theEurope 2020 policy cycle – looking at how multi-level governance is implemented.The dates of future conferences are:– Industrial policy for the globalisation era, 10 April, Brussels;– European platform against poverty, 29 May, Brussels;– Digital agenda for Europe, 2 July, Brussels;– Resource-efficient Europe, 2-3 September,Vilnius;– Innovation Union, 27 November, Brussels;– 6thEuropean Summit of Regions and Cities, March 2014.Welcome
  4. 4. ■ Foreword........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 4■ We need a cohesion policy that concentrates on growth and jobs................................................................................................................... 5■ The Irish Presidency looks to advance the Europe 2020.................................................................................................................................................................. 6■ Europe 2020 is a strategy that can put the EU back on the path to growth........................................................................... 7■ The Europe 2020 strategy cannot succeed unless Europe’s regionsand cities are actively involved in its implementation......................................................................................................................................................................... 8■ Europe 2020 in a nutshell......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 10■ Europe 2020 National Reform Programmes and territorial authorities...................................................................................... 11Partnership contracts signed between Member Statesand the European Commission should be based on agreementsnegotiated with local and regional authorities............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 13Estonia’s“Eesti 2020”involving local and regional authorities delivering Europe 2020........................................................... 13Belgian communities and regions working togetherto achieve Europe 2020 objectives............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 14■ Youth on the Move........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 15I would like to see a stronger emphasis on culture and innovation........................................................................................................................................ 15Unless we invest now in support of growth in a sustainable manner,we risk a lost generation.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 16Youth on the Move can only be successfullyimplemented with the help of local and regional authorities................................................................................................................................................................ 16New Youth Competence Centres are good toolsfor investing in youth, new skills and jobs.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 17■ Agenda for New Skills and Jobs............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 18The role of local and regional authorities in promotinggrowth and creating jobs...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 18The Hague: Working hard to develop new security cluster........................................................................................................................................................................... 19The SÖM Project in Malmö: Towards a comprehensiveand sustainable way of integrating immigrants.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 19For the Castile and León region, regional growth means employment........................................................................................................................ 20Content
  5. 5. ■ Industrial Policy for the Globalisation Era............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 21Local authorities are partners in revitalising industry .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 21European small and medium-sized enterprises at a crossroads........................................................................................................................................................ 22New challenges for Industrial Policy in Saxony.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 22■ European Platform Against Poverty and Social Exclusion.................................................................................................................................................... 23We will continue to push for a stronger social dimension in the current political agenda.......................................... 23The experience of Uszka, a predominantly Roma-populated municipality in Eastern Hungary.................... 24The Neuvokas network is bringing human warmth to the Arctic Lapland region............................................................................. 24Helping socially disadvantaged and disabled people is a priorityfor the Bratislava Region........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 25Despite years of economic growth we still havea worrying legacy of child poverty across the EU................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 26■ Digital Agenda for Europe..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 27In Slovakia, eGovernment facilitates the access of the public and businessesto local authorities................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 27CoR is involved in the European Digital Agenda....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 28■ A Resource-Efficient Europe............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 30CoR backs campaign:“A world you like. With a climate you like”..................................................................................................................................................... 302013 is the“Year of the energy revolution”in Burgenland, Austria ............................................................................................................................................ 31Increasing biodiversity loss within ecosystems has reached worrying limits.................................................................................................. 31Implementation of EU environmental law must be a priority................................................................................................................................................................. 32Protection of natural heritage and resource efficiencyare key concerns for the Mazovia regional administration.............................................................................................................................................................................. 32■ Innovation Union.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 34Regions and cities must be actively involved in European Research.................................................................................................................................... 34Europe needs blueprint for bioeconomy..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 35■ Europe 2020 Going Local........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 36
  6. 6. Regions and cities supporting growth and jobs4The Europe 2020 strategy is Europe’s blueprint for asmart, sustainable and inclusive future, providinga 10 year roadmap for growth and jobs. All itsinstruments and policy goals have already been set:now we need to deliver. The Europe 2020 strategymust be implemented in partnership with Europe’sregions and cities because they are the actors whocan close the delivery gap. This is why makingEurope 2020 a success is one of the key priorities ofthe Committee of the Regions in the years to come.One of the CoR’s main concerns is “implementingEurope 2020 in partnership”. This will involve a seriesof events focusing on the seven flagship initiativesand the exchange of best practices, which will endduring the first half of 2014 with the 6thEuropeanSummit of Regions and Cities and a mid-termassessment of the Europe 2020 strategy. Numerousactivities organised by the Europe 2020 MonitoringPlatform during this period will enable local andregional authorities to contribute to this bottom-upassessment.National Reform Programmes should beimplemented in cooperation with local and regionalauthorities. We need to work in partnership, anddevelop a culture of multi-level governance inEurope. When drawing up and implementing yourown2020vision,yourregionandcitymustbeabletocount on other public authorities – including thoseat European and national levels – social partners,universities and other civil society players relevant toits future development.Therefore, sound mechanisms need to be set up toenable timely and structural cooperation with thenational level when it comes to annually reportingon progress towards the strategy’s headline targets.We will need to think outside the box and generatenewalliancesbetweenregionsandcities.Translatingthe five Europe 2020 headline targets to takeaccount of the specific territorial characteristics ofour regions and cities will require clear governance,monitoring and evaluation structures, fresh fundingand a sound communication strategy. Moreover, toachieve efficient delivery on the ground, the signingof Territorial Pacts – enabling the implementationof Europe 2020 in partnership and the creation ofgreatersynergiesbetweenpublicbudgetsatalllevels– represents an opportunity that should be seized byevery single EU Member State.This publication is designed to inform local andregional authorities about the strategic potentialof Europe 2020 for your city and region. It providesan overview of seven flagship initiatives, as well ashands-on best practices. The new Cohesion andStructural Funds Regulations are geared towardsachieving the Europe 2020 headline targets andEU socio-economic and territorial cohesion. Thefunds will therefore bring important additional EUassistance and guidance so as to make your 2020vision a reality within your region and city.Nowisthetimetoprepareforthenextprogrammingperiod for the funds and contribute to thedevelopment of the future Partnership Contractbetween the Member States and the EuropeanCommission.Youhavetheopportunitytoshareyourideas and good practices. Every local and regionalauthorityinEuropehasatleastonejewelitcanmakeshine, share and showcase to others.ForewordRamón LuisValcárcel SisoPresident of the Committee of the Regions
  7. 7. 5Over recent years, the European Union has beenfighting one of the worst crises since the start ofEuropean integration. Both firemen and architectshavebeenneeded.In2012,wehavebeenmovingfroma crisis mode to applying the lessons of the crisis. Theroot cause of the current situation is economic, andwe will not be able to face the social challenge unlessweovercometheeconomicchallengetoo.Wehavetoget the fundamentals right. We need to build a strongand sustainable recovery on sound foundations andworktowardsgrowth;smart,sustainableandinclusivegrowth as described in our growth agenda, Europe2020. This is the way to preserve and modernise oursocial market economy, which is an open economywithhighlevelsofsocialcohesionandsocialjustice.Our strategy of growth-friendly fiscal consolidation,economic reforms and targeted investments isbeginning to show results. Deficits are coming down,tensions in financial markets are easing and thereare signs that competitiveness is improving in someMember States. But there is no room for complacency.More than ever, it is crucial to stick to our strategyand to retain a sense of urgency. Obviously thesereforms are difficult, painful and may have socialconsequences. In some parts of Europe we are seeinga real social emergency with rising poverty and veryhigh levels of unemployment, especially amongst ouryoung people. The European Commission is doingthe best it can to contribute to delivering a job-richrecovery and combat social exclusion. But determinedandconcertedactionisneededfromusall.We will only succeed with full ownership andcommitment from all levels, particularly from regionaland local levels. Regional and local authoritieshave key competences and are often best placed toimplement the necessary reforms in crucial areas suchas education, research, active labour market policies,energy efficiency and social inclusion. With specifictargets reflecting the priorities of our Europe 2020strategy and clear conditions for the implementationofEUfunding,wewillbeabletodelivertangibleresultsin our regions, in our cities and in our rural areastogether.EUstructuralfundsarebotharealexpressionof solidarity and a major driver of economic recoveryand convergence. They represent a vital source ofgrowth-enhancingpublicinvestmentfortheEuropeanUnion. We need to work closely together to make surethattheyarefocussedonresults.This is why we need a cohesion policy that concentrateseven more on our growth and job objectives, and thatreinforces Europe’s competitiveness and our new systemof economic governance. The fact is that local andregional bodies have to be better anchored and activelyinvolved in our new economic governance. We also needto stand together and show the necessary openness insupport of the proper Multiannual Financial Frameworkto take us to 2020. It is time to support a budget forgrowth at the European level. The real issue is how toget back to sustainable growth. The European budget isan instrument for investment in Europe and growth inEurope, and cohesion policy is an indispensable part ofthatpurpose.In this context, I very much welcome this publication andthanktheCommitteeoftheRegionsforbringingtogetherall the information to make Europe 2020 happen on theground in one document. I am confident that it will bean important tool for municipalities and regions andhelp them to succeed in achieving our common goal ofboostingsustainablegrowthandcompetitivenessforourcitizens and our businesses. This is even more importantand opportune in 2013 which has been declared “TheEuropeanYearofCitizens”.José Manuel BarrosoPresident of the European CommissionWe needcohesion policythat concentrateson growthand jobs
  8. 8. Regions and cities supporting growth and jobs6The EU is currently experiencing very challeng-ing economic times. The crisis has clearly dem-onstrated how interlinked our economies are.Citizens across Europe have faced difficult yearsand now justifiably expect leadership from theirGovernments to deliver economic growth andstability. This is why the Irish Presidency is plac-ing economic recovery and job creation at thecentre of its Presidency programme. The historyof the Union has shown that the EU can deliverresults, including through the Single Market, andas Presidency we are working to generate positivechange for citizens.The Irish Presidency is working to make progressin a broad range of areas including the SingleMarket, the digital economy, the research and in-novation sector, green technologies and externaltrade, with the overarching objective of promot-ing sustainable economic growth and employ-ment. It’s also seeking to advance the Europe2020 process to ensure that the Union remainscompetitive in a rapidly changing global mar-ket. The Presidency is also working to strengthennational economies through implementation ofeconomic governance measures, creating a morestable environment for investors, consumers andbusinesses to support economic recovery.Ireland also stands ready to take forward whateveractions that remain at the heart of its Presidency,to bring the EU’s future financing to a successfulconclusion and to underpin investment in stra-tegic areas of the EU economy; from educationprogrammes to energy, transport and telecomsinfrastructure to programmes such as Horizon2020, aimed at boosting the Union’s research andinnovation capabilities. The Irish Presidency isorganising a series of events to promote greaterengagement in the EU during the European Yearof Citizens, particularly at regional level. Close, on-going and intensive engagement with citizens is aprerequisite for building Europe’s future.The EU has proved before that when its MemberStates work closely together, it can make greatprogress. The awarding of the Nobel Prize to thecitizens of the EU is testament to how muchMember States have achieved through dialogueand cooperation. Ireland is seeking to maintainthe Union’s successful commitment of deliveringpeace, prosperity and progress to all Europeans.Enda KennyT.D.Prime Minister of IrelandThe IrishPresidency looksto advanceEurope 2020
  9. 9. Committee of the Regions’ contribution to the Europe 2020 strategy’s seven flagship initiatives7Europe 2020 is a strategy that can put the EUMember States back on the path to growth. Toachieve this, it must be tailored to the specificsituation of each EU region and dovetail with themeasures for greater cohesion, in the spirit andtenor of the Treaty of Lisbon and, of course, Struc-tural Fund programming. The Europe 2020 strat-egy can only succeed if Europe’s cities and regionsare involved in its implementation by acting aspartners with other levels of government. The cit-ies and regions of Europe have certainly neededno encouragement to get involved.Two years after the launch of Europe 2020, theCommittee of the Regions published its 3rdCoRMonitoring Report on Europe 2020, in November2012. At the same time, the CoR also launched amonitoring exercise on the seven flagship initia-tives of the Europe 2020 strategy, which is due tobe completed in time for the March 2014 Summitof European Cities and Regions, which will takestock of the findings of the monitoring exerciseand feed into the mid-term review of the Europe2020 strategy.Each survey by the CoR’s Europe 2020 Monitor-ing Platform has shown that local and regionalauthorities are active in most policy fields cov-ered by the strategy. The strategy has also helpedto create a “shared language” enabling local andregional authorities to improve relations bothamong themselves and with higher levels ofgovernment and other stakeholders. It has alsoencouraged certain local authorities to set moreambitious targets and has helped trigger a richexperience-sharing process.Various forms of “multi-level agreements” havearisen here and there, adapted in line with theobjectives of Europe 2020, no doubt encouragedby the positive experiences of cohesion policy.Nonetheless, it should be said that Europe 2020faces a number of serious challenges.Firstly, the financial crisis is having a very heavyimpact on local and regional spending. Local andregional authorities are drastically cutting backpublic investments that support growth in orderto focus their expenditure on anti-crisis welfaremeasures. That being said, direct sub-nationalinvestment, which amounted to EUR 204 billionin 2011, has always accounted for two thirds ofEuropean public investment while sub-nationalexpenditure amounted to EUR 2109 billion or16.7% of GDP and 34% of public spending.At European level, our surveys have revealed a se-ries of problems:– a lack of coordination between the differentpolitical instruments, which is compounded by:– a lack of available financial resources for theEurope 2020 objectives, and– a strong need to simplify administrativeprocedures and to help provide local andregional public administration with greateroperational capacities;– insufficient consideration is given to theregional impact of EU policies.Unfortunately the Annual Growth Survey for2013, which was published by the EuropeanCommission at the end of November 2012, didnot address these issues.We will therefore have tomake further efforts at European level to convincethe need for the Member States to draft the 2013National Reform Programmes, as the main Europe2020 implementation tools, in partnership withthe local and regional authorities.There is another sword of Damocles hangingabove the head of the Europe 2020 strategy: inreality, most of the growth and recovery meas-ures are based on structural reform (liberalisa-tion and labour market and pension reforms), theoverwhelming majority of which are to be ad-dressed at national level, with no increase in theEU budget. However, it is not possible to pursuean ambitious strategy without providing the req-uisite budgetary resources for its implementationat EU level.Europe 2020is a strategy thatcan put the EUback on the pathto growth“Cohesion policyis, par excellence,a strategicinvestmentinstrument forsustainable growth and competitiveness,one which evens out macro-economicimbalances over time and fosters cohesion.Local and regional authorities are keyactors in successful implementation ofthe Europe 2020 strategy as they couldprovide valuable knowledge of differentlocal situations and a realistic bottom-upapproach.”Martin Schulz,President of the European Parliament“I see my roleas a unifyingrole. Meetingthe Committee of the Regions is part ofthat role. I hope that, with assistance fromlocal and regional authorities, the Europe2020 strategy will be more successful thanits predecessor, the Lisbon strategy. I willpersonally see to it that Europe 2020 willnot become another bureaucratic process.”HermanVan Rompuy,President of the European Council
  10. 10. Regions and cities supporting growth and jobs8Furthermore, I also believe that we often confusenecessary budgetary discipline with austerity byfocusing more on relatively arbitrary reductiontargets than on actually identifying the qualityand productive spending that could pave the wayfor economic recovery. It is a case of putting thecart before the horse. For – if we want to achievehigh levels of employment – it is also absolutelyvital to follow through with fiscal consolidationand economic recovery, both by maintaininglevels of consumption and by ensuring that morepeople contribute to the finances of the welfarestate.A third comment: there has been a shift towardsa“macroeconomisation”of economic governancewith a concomitant risk that the Europe 2020strategy may be relegated to a lower position inthe EU’s ranking of political priorities.The fact thatthe first strategy document of the presidents ofthe Commission, the European Council, the ECBand the Eurogroup, entitled “Towards a GenuineEconomic and Monetary Union”, made no explicitmention of the Europe 2020 strategy or its role instrengthening the EU’s economic governance is aclear indication of this danger.Lastly, I think that the main challenge for anynew form of political integration is to ensurethe democratic nature of the EU’s economicgovernance.Working together with the EuropeanParliament, we must put forward specific avenuesfor reform which involve parliaments, local andregional authorities and the social partnersmore closely in the European Semester process,which is currently something of a black holedemocratically. We should not be using “country-specific recommendations” to set the retirementage or eligibility thresholds for social housing inthe Member States, which is a matter for nationaldemocratic decision-making.The challenge for the Committee of the Regionswill be to make sure that we are able to analyseand put forward ideas as part of this economicgovernance which, with its specific decision-making mechanisms, stands in stark contrast towhat has always been at the very heart of theCommittee of the Regions’ activities, namelyparticipation in the process of drafting EUlegislation.Interview with Michel Delebarre, Coordinator of the CoR’s Europe 2020 strategy Monitoring Platform“Europe 2020 cannot succeed without the active involvement of Europe’sregions and cities”We met Michel Delebarre, Coordinator of the CoR’s Europe 2020 strategy Monitoring Platform, whotold us how the Europe 2020 strategy affects local and regional authorities, as well as about theplatform’s programme and proposals for the future. He believes strongly that the new strategycannot afford to repeat the errors of the Lisbon strategy:“The Europe 2020 strategy cannot succeedunless Europe’s towns and regions are actively involved in implementing it, working alongside theother tiers of governance.”The Committee of the Regions has set up aEurope 2020 strategy Monitoring Platformfor which you are coordinator. Why thisplatform?What is it aiming to achieve?The Europe 2020 strategy is the European Union’sroadmap for economic and social policy - indeed,almost 80% of the EUR 330 billion earmarked for thefuture cohesion policy will be spent on it. The Europe2020 strategy is designed to enable the EU MemberStates and their regions and towns to kick-startgrowth. Over 150 local and regional authorities aremembers of the Europe 2020 Monitoring Platformand they all agree on one key message: the errors oftheLisbonstrategymustnotberepeated.TheEurope2020 strategy cannot succeed unless Europe’s townsand regions are actively involved in implementing it,working alongside the other tiers of governance. Inorder to achieve this objective, it must adapt to thespecific situation in each EU region and work withmeasures to boost economic, social and territorialcohesion, in accordance with both the spirit andletter of the Lisbon Treaty and - naturally - structuralfund programming.The platform has recently canvassed the viewsof local and regional authorities to assess theYouthontheMoveinitiative.Whatarethechiefresults of this? What role could and should beplayed by towns and regions in combatingunemploymentamongyoungpeople?Iwouldliketodrawthreeconclusionsfromthissurvey.Firstly, as regards young people, Europe cannot doeverything; it has neither the means nor the power.However, without European encouragement,nationalandregionalyouthpolicieslackperspectiveand points of convergence. The best illustrationEurope2020MonitoringPlatformTo achieve the Europe 2020 goals, alltiers of government should work inpartnership, implementing multilevelgovernance agreements. Coordination andsynchronisation of partners’ agendas andintegration of their sectoral policies wouldunlockgreatpotentialintheformofsynergiesand systemic effects when implementingNational Reform Programmes. It is crucialto consider the close links between thisand the ongoing discussion on the new EUMultiannual Financial Framework after 2013.To boost mutual learning, CoR is collectingpolicy experiences featuring partnershipsbetween different government tiers. TheEurope 2020 Monitoring Platform is the CoR’snetwork of local and regional authorities andan electronic platform at the same time. Itaims to assess the Europe 2020 strategy fromthe point of view of EU regions and cities.To become a member of the MonitoringPlatform visit our website:http://portal.cor.europa.eu/europe2020or contact the Platform by email:europe2020@cor.europa.eu
  11. 11. Committee of the Regions’ contribution to the Europe 2020 strategy’s seven flagship initiatives9of this is, I believe, the EU’s “snowball effect”, whichcertainly influenced the recent decision presented byJean-Marc Ayrault’s government to bring in a youthguarantee. Youth employment needs to be tackledbymeansofapolicywhichtakesallaspectsofyoungpeople’s lives into account: housing, education andhealthcare. Policies cannot be split into a youthemployment policy and a housing or educationpolicy. Lastly, the European Commission’s proposalson youth employment need to be built into thegovernance of the Europe 2020 strategy, particularlywhen framing country-specific recommendations.What topics will the platform be consideringover the next few months? What will be thekey issues for you in 2013?We are currently involved in monitoring the sevenflagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 strategy;this exercise will be finalised in March 2014 when aSummit of Regions and Cities of Europe will drawconclusions from it in order to influence the mid-term review of the Europe 2020 strategy. In lateFebruary during the Irish Presidency, we will holda forum on the Europe 2020 flagship initiative AnAgenda for New Skills and New Jobs in Dublin, andanother in April in Brussels on the EU’s industrialpolicy. I believe that there are three key issues. Firstly,the bulk of growth measures proposed at Europeanlevel are based on proposals for structural reform(liberalisation,reformofthelabourmarket,reformofthe pension system) which are almost entirely aimedat the national level and assume that the EU budgetwill remain at the same level. However, there is noway we can carry out an ambitious strategy withoutthe resources needed to implement it at EU level.Next, economic governance in its current form at EUlevel focuses exclusively on macroeconomic issues.Employment is at best a secondary consideration.This is proven by the fact that most MemberStates did not include a national employmentplan, setting out a complete set of measures topromote job creation, in their 2012 national reformprogrammes. The third key issue is democratisingthe EU’s economic governance. We need to proposepractical avenues for reform giving parliaments,localandregionalauthoritiesandthesocialpartnersa stronger role in the EU’s economic governance,which is currently something of a democraticblack hole. The Commission should not be workingbehind the scenes, with national civil servants andvia country-specific recommendations, to set theretirement age for each Member State or eligibilitycriteria for council housing.The Committee of the Regions issued its 3rdMonitoring Report on Europe 2020, duringthe 2012 Open Days. Europe 2020 is anatural priority for the new CoR Presidency,since it sees the achievement of growth inquantitative as well as qualitative terms(growth should be smart, sustainableand inclusive) and as something that canbe flexibly adapted to different nationalsituations.ThisThird Monitoring Report can be found at:http://portal.cor.europa.eu/europe2020/news/Pages/3rdCoRMonitoringReportonEurope2020.aspxMichelDelebarre(FR/PES), SenatorandMayorofDunkirk,CoordinatoroftheCoR’sEurope2020strategyMonitoringPlatform
  12. 12. Regions and cities supporting growth and jobs10Europe 2020 is the European Union’s ten-yeargrowth strategy. It is about more than justovercoming the crisis which continues to afflictmany of our economies. It is about addressingthe shortcomings of our growth model andcreating the conditions for a different type ofgrowth that is smarter, more sustainable andmore inclusive. To render this more tangible, fivekey targets have been set for the EU to achieveby the end of the decade, and each membercountry has set its own contribution to thesetargets. These cover employment; education;research and innovation; social inclusion andpoverty reduction; and climate/energy. Thestrategy was approved by the European Councilin June 2010.The strategy also includes seven “flagshipinitiatives” providing a framework through whichthe EU and national authorities mutually reinforcetheir efforts in areas supporting the Europe 2020priorities such as innovation, the digital economy,employment, youth, industrial policy, poverty,and resource efficiency.Europe2020willonlybeasuccessifitisthesubjectof a determined and focused effort at both the EUand national levels, including local and regionalauthorities. At the EU level key decisions are beingtaken to complete the single market in services,energy and digital products, and to invest inessential cross-border links. At national level manyobstacles to competition and job creation must beremoved. But only if these efforts are combinedand coordinated will they have the desired impacton growth and jobs.That is why the delivery of Europe 2020 reliesheavily on the new governance structures andprocesses that the EU has been putting in placesince 2010. At the heart of these is the EuropeanSemester, a yearly cycle of economic policycoordination involving EU level policy guidanceby the European Commission and Council,reform commitments by the Member States andcountry-specific recommendations prepared bythe Commission and endorsed at the highestlevel by national leaders in the European Council.These recommendations should then be taken onboard in the Member States’policies and budgetsThe 5 targets for the EU in 20201. Employment – 75% of 20-64 year-olds to be employed2. R&D – 3% of the EU’s GDP to be invested in R&D3. Climate change /energy– Greenhouse gas emissions 20% lower than 1990– 20% of energy from renewable energy sources– 20% increase in energy efficiency4. Education – Reducing school drop-out rates below 10%– At least 40% of 30-34–year-olds completing third level education5. Poverty / socialexclusion– At least 20 million fewer people in or at risk of poverty and social exclusionTheofficialEurope2020websiteis:http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/index_en.htm“Whilst retainingtheir essentialfocus on Europe 2020, the CommonStrategic Framework provides a strongbasis for multi-sectoral integratedprogramming. The CSF sets out how theinnovative instruments we have proposedin the regulation can be articulated todeliver real place-based programmesand projects. Key mechanisms such asIntegrated Territorial Investments orCommunity-led local development willoffer a genuine opportunity to MemberStates and regions to fully apply theprinciple of subsidiarity and to empowerkey partners to take their development intotheir own hands. Cohesion Policy is oneof the keys that can unlock our economictransformation in the coming decade. Wemust defend it, and at the same time makeevery effort to increase its effectiveness.To re-launch growth and job creation, asufficient budget for cohesion is needed.But to convince tax payers and the maincontributors on a sufficient budget, weneed to deliver on our promises to make thepolicy more effective. We can only defendan ambitious budget for a strong CohesionPolicy if we demonstrate our commitmentto a modern and smart implementationprocess and clear objectives aligned withthe Europe 2020 strategy.”Johannes Hahn,EU Commissioner for Regional Policy“tEurope 2020 in a nutshell
  13. 13. Committee of the Regions’ contribution to the Europe 2020 strategy’s seven flagship initiatives11The Committee of the Regions strongly supportsthe Europe 2020 strategy, while emphasising theneed to coordinate and implement actions at alllevels of government, including local and regionalauthorities. The CoR accomplishes this through avariety of mechanisms and initiatives, includingthe Europe 2020 Monitoring Platform andTerritorial Pacts. As part of the European Semesterand the monitoring of the Europe 2020 strategy,the Member States submit their annual NationalReform Programmes, which specify the progressmade and action to be undertaken in areas suchas employment, research, innovation, energy orsocial inclusion in order to meet the goals andtargets set out in the Europe 2020 strategy.All Member States have committed themselves tothe Europe 2020 strategy. However, each countryhas different economic circumstances andtranslates the overall EU objectives into nationaltargets in its National Reform Programme – adocument which presents the country’s policiesand measures to sustain growth and jobs andto reach the Europe 2020 targets. The NationalReform Programme is presented in parallel withits Stability and Convergence Programme, whichsets out the country’s budgetary plans for thecoming three or four years. The Country-specificRecommendations are documents preparedby the European Commission for each country,analysing its economic situation and providingrecommendations on measures it should adoptover the coming 12 months. They are tailored totheparticularissuestheMemberStateisfacingandcover a broad range of topics: the state of publicfinances, reforms of pension systems, measures tocreatejobsandtofightunemployment,educationand innovation challenges, etc.The final adoptionof Country-specific Recommendations preparedby the Commission is done at the highest level bynational leaders in the European Council.In September 2012, the CoR published a studyon the “Role of local and regional authorities inthe Europe 2020 National Reform Programmes –analysisofthe2012NationalReformProgrammes”.The study analysed the role played by territorialauthorities in the first round of National ReformProgrammes (NRP) submissions in 2011. Itreflected the dynamic nature of Europe’seconomic and policy landscape, including thepressing need to promote sustainable job growthand the fiscal consolidation of the public sector.Localandregionalauthoritiesarereferredtointhemajority of National Reform Programmes – 24 outofatotalof27NRPsstatethatterritorialauthoritieshave a role in implementing the actions outlinedin the NRP. Local and regional authorities are alsofrequently mentioned (in 20 out of 27 NRPs) in thecontext of NRP implementation, with a specificfocus on the two priority areas of job creation andcombating youth unemployment.“Today, themain challengeis economicgrowth. Europeneeds growth. Not just national policy, butall European policies must be focused oncreating conditions for growth. Therefore,our common responsibility - the EuropeanCommission, the European Parliament,Member States, local and regionalauthorities - is to ensure that the Europeanbudget is an effective and efficientengine for development, a truly long-term investment in the future of Europesupporting the objectives of the Europe2020 strategy. The European Parliamenthas shown strong support to the alignmentof cohesion policy with the Europe 2020strategy, arguing that cohesion policy hasto contribute in a concrete and measurableway to the Europe 2020 strategy goals forsmart, sustainable and inclusive growth.We believe that the explicit linkage to theEurope 2020 strategy, through thematicobjectives derived from it, provides a realopportunity for reform, prioritisation,increased synergies and a better deliverysystem. We all agree that public investmentneeds to be better targeted and spendingneeds to be more effective in the future.However, members of my Committeeplead for greater flexibility, givingregions and municipalities more leewayto adapt programmes to their specificcharacteristics; as indeed Europe’s regionsand cities are not only making a difference,but they are also different and each has aspecific mix of strength and weaknesses,challenges and opportunities.”Danuta Hübner,Chairwoman of the Committeeon Regional Development, EuropeanParliamentEurope 2020 National Reform Programmesand territorial authoritiesThe mostimportant issuefor the region:unemployment< 20%20% - 40%40% - 60%60% - 80%> 80%% of respondents© EuroGeographics Association for theadministrative boundaries EuroGeographicsAssociation for the administrative boundaries0 500 KmGuyaneAçoresGuadeloupeMartiniqueMadeiraCanariasRéunionREGIOgisThe27NationalReformProgrammes,andCountry-SpecificRecommendations,canbefoundat:http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/index_en.htmSource:FlashEurobarometer356
  14. 14. Regions and cities supporting growth and jobs12Country-specific Europe 2020 targets as set by Member States in their National ReformProgrammes in April 2011Source:http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/pdf/targets_en.pdfEU/MemberStatestargetsEmploymentrate(in%)R&Din%ofGDPCO2emissionreductiontargetsRenewableenergyEnergyefficiency–reductionofenergyconsumptioninMtoeEarlyschoolleavingin%Tertiaryeducationin%ReductionofpopulationatriskofpovertyorsocialexclusioninnumberofpersonsEUheadlinetarget 75% 3%-20%(comparedto1990levels)20%20%increaseinenergyefficiencyequalling368Mtoe10% 40% 20,000,000EstimatedEU3 73.70-74% 2.65-2.72%-20%(comparedto1990levels)20% 206.9Mtoe 10.30-10.50% 37.50-38.0%ResultcannotbecalculatedbecauseofdifferencesinnationalmethodologiesAT 77-78% 3.76% -16% 34% 7.16 9.5% 38% 235,000BE 73.2% 3.0% -15% 13% 9.80 9.5% 47% 380,000BG 76% 1.5% 20% 16% 3.20 11% 36% 260,000CY 75-77% 0.5% -5% 13% 0.46 10% 46% 27,000CZ 75% 1%(publicsectoronly) 9% 13% n.a. 5.5% 32%Maintainingthenumberofpersonsatriskofpovertyorsocialexclusionatthelevelof2008(15.3%oftotalpopulation)witheffortstoreduceitby30,000DE 77% 3% -14% 18% 38.30 <10% 42% 330,000(long-termunemployed)DK 80% 3% -20% 30% 0.83 <10% Atleast40% 22,000(householdwithlowworkintensity)EE 76% 3% 11% 25% 0.71 9.5% 40%Reducetheatriskofpovertyrate(aftersocialtransfers)to15%(from17.5%in2010)EL 70% toberevised -4% 18% 2.70 9.7% 32% 450,000ES 74% 3% -10% 20% 25.20 15% 44% 1,400,000-1,500,000FI 78% 4% -16% 38% 4.21 8%42%(narrownationaldefinition)150,000FR 75% 3% -14% 23% 34.00 9.5% 50%Reductionoftheanchoredatriskofpovertyratebyonethirdfortheperiod 2007-2012orby1,600000peopleHU 75% 1.8% 10% 14.65% 2.96 10% 30.3% 450,000IE 69-71% approx.2%(2.5%GNP) -20% 16% 2.75 8% 60% 186,000by2016IT 67-69% 1.53% -13% 17% 27.90 15-16% 26-27% 2,200,000LT 72.8% 1.9% 15% 23% 1.14 <9% 40% 170,000LU 73% 2.3-2.6% -20% 11% 0.20 <10% 40% NotargetLV 73% 1.5% 17% 40% 0.67 13.4% 34-36% 121,000MT 62.9% 0.67% 5% 10% 0.24 29% 33% 6,560NL 80% 2,5% -16% 14% n.a. <8%>40%-45%expectedin2020100,000PL 71% 1.7% 14% 15.48% 14.00 4.5% 45% 1,500,000PT 75% 2.7-3.3% 1% 31% 6.00 10% 40% 200,000RO 70% 2% 19% 24% 10.00 11.3% 26.7% 580,000SE Wellover80% 4% -17% 49% 12.80 <10% 40-45%Reductionofthe%ofwomenandmenwhoarenotinthelabourforce(exceptfull-timestudents),thelong-termunemployedorthoseonlong-termsickleavetowellunder14%by2020SI 75% 3% 4% 25% n.a. 5% 40% 40,000SK 72% 1% 13% 14% 1.65 6% 40% 170,000UK NotargetinNRP NotargetinNRP -16% 15% n.a.NotargetinNRPNotargetinNRPExistingnumericaltargetsofthe2010ChildPovertyActSource:http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/pdf/targets_en.pdf
  15. 15. Committee of the Regions’ contribution to the Europe 2020 strategy’s seven flagship initiatives13Partnership contracts between Member States and the EuropeanCommission should be based on agreements negotiated withlocal and regional authoritiesIf we wish to restore Europe’s confidence in thefuture, we must not abandon the investmentsthat bolster the foundations of future growth –investment in research and innovation, educationand vocational training. Such investment is vitalfor backing up labour market reforms, ensuringthe integration into the labour market of youngpeople and steering our economy towards greengrowth.Of course, the measures necessary in the shortterm must be consistent with the goals of bothEurope 2020 and territorial cohesion, which issubject to different conditions in line with theparticular situations of the Member States. On thislast point, it is crucial to insist on the conditionson which our support of Europe 2020 was based:adaptation to the different starting points, andsetting the quantitative targets not only atnational level but also at regional level. But wemust be realistic: since one of the primary tasks ofthe Structural Funds will also be to help meet theEurope2020goals,Ibelievethatwemustseizetheopportunity of the partnership contracts to alsodiscuss, around the same table, the coordinationand integration of all the other policies necessaryto the success of Europe 2020. The bottom lineis that partnership contracts signed by MemberStates with the European Commission should bebased on an agreement negotiated with theirlocal and regional authorities.We are convinced that the partnership approachand multilevel governance will not only serve torevive the economy and employment by layingthefoundationsforsmart,sustainableandinclusivegrowth, but will also help inject fresh politicalimpetus into the European venture – through astrongrevivaloftheCommunitymethod–capableof restoring the democratic legitimacy of theEuropean and national institutions.Estonia’s “Eesti 2020” involving local and regional authoritiesin delivering Europe 2020Estonia’s “Eesti 2020” competitiveness plan bringstogether the main policies and measures toimprove the country’s competitiveness, and setstargets for 2015 and 2020. The plan is in line withthe goals of the Euro 2020 strategy and with thechallenges facing Estonia. “Eesti 2020” takes intoaccountthegovernment’sactionprogramme,thenational budget strategy, the stability programmeand the action plan. It has been drawn up andimplemented under the coordination of an inter-ministerial working group on competitiveness,with the involvement of all the key partners andexperts from many fields.However, local authorities were not treatedas important partners, and were only givena secondary role as the government was notparticularly interested in having tangible inputfrom them on the strategy and the accompanyingaction plan. The government half-heartedlyinvited suggestions, but has not given anydetailed feedback.However, it is precisely local and regionalauthorities which will be responsible forimplementing numerous projects of nationalimportance under the plan. Many localEstonian authorities are now being compelledto implement numerous measures which the“Eesti 2020” action plan envisages being takenat local level; however, a plan which attaches solittle importance to dialogue cannot be seen assystematic or sufficiently thought through, and inthe long term it will not be sustainable for localauthorities.St t ith th E C i i h ld bMercedes Bresso (IT/PES)First Vice-President of the Committeeof the RegionsUno Silberg (EA/EE)Member of Kose Municipality Council, Chairmanof the European Alliance Group of the CoR
  16. 16. Regions and cities supporting growth and jobs14Dialogue, involvement and funding to achieveshared goals are the only reasonable meansof meeting the challenges facing Estonia in aconstructive and effective way, and this requirescloser cooperation with local authorities thanhas hitherto been the case. In addition tothe EU’s recommendations to Estonia, whichmust be taken into account during the annualupdating of the “Eesti 2020” action plan, thereare also fully justified expectations that localauthorities should be more effectively involvedin all respects. Closer cooperation betweenthe Estonian parliament and the governmenttogether with greater involvement of localauthorities in planning and implementingmeasures of national relevance could in thelong term create conditions for more economicgrowth while enhancing the country’scompetitiveness and that of the European Unionas a whole.Belgian communities and regions working together to achieveEurope 2020 objectivesIn Belgium, competences are shared betweenthe federal level, the regions and the languagecommunities: exclusive competences areattributed to the federated bodies and they areclosely involved in preparing the National ReformProgrammes (NRP) and Stability Programmes. TheNRP submitted in 2011 by the federal governmentthus fully included the measures that thelanguage communities and regions intend to rollout in order to help achieve the five objectives ofthe Europe 2020 strategy.The regions have also drawn up their ownregional reform programmes, the key pointsof which are set out in the NRP: Vlaanderen inactie (Flanders in Action) for Flanders and the PlanMarshall2.Vert (Marshall Plan 2.Green) forWallonia.The NRP is part of the European Semester processintroduced in 2011 under the Europe 2020strategy.The NRP submitted in 2011 was thereforethe first of its kind. The 2012 version aims firstlyto describe the progress made with the reformsannounced in 2011 in terms of achieving thenational objectives and, secondly, to fulfil theCouncil’s recommendations. This programmeshould also take on board the guidelines suppliedby the European Commission and the EuropeanCouncil for the 2012 European Semester, withparticular reference to the youth unemploymentissue.The 2012 Belgian NRP is divided into three mainsections. The first focuses on macroeconomicsurveillanceandcomesunderthemacroeconomicimbalance surveillance and prevention process.The second scrutinises the implementation of the2011 NRP, detailing Belgium’s response to each ofthe Council’s recommendations. The third sectionreports on the state of progress and presentsnewly-planned measures concerning theEurope 2020 objectives (employment, R&D andinnovation, education and training, energy andthe climate, social inclusion). Once again, eachbody contributes to drafting the programmesfor the fields relevant to it. In this way, a jointcontribution from Wallonia and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation was appended to the 2012programme.Since the Council’s recommendations to Belgiummainly concern federal competences, theNRP details the measures taken by the federalgovernment, especially in the area of pensionreform, unemployment schemes and taxation, aswell as macroeconomic stability measures. Thefederated bodies also had the opportunity tohighlight the measures taken by their respectivegovernments, mirroring the European guidelinesand the aim of achieving the Europe 2020 strategyobjectives.The Commission’s recommendations, endorsedby the European Council of 28 and 29 June 2012,provide a roadmap for each of our governmentsto press ahead with reforms and, if appropriate, toimplement new initiatives and contributions forthe next NRP.“It is importantfor achievingthe Europe2020 strategyand the Common Strategic Framework,in accordance with the principle ofproportionality, that the CSF effectivelyplay its role of clarifying and spelling outthe logic of individual fund interventionin the future programming period, whileleaving room for adapting programmeintervention to the specific situation, needsand potential of individual Member Statesand regions. The CSF should provide anindicative framework for partnershipcontracts and operational programmesprepared in individual Member States.This will give the Member States and theircompetent regional and local authoritiesthe possibility of pursuing an individualapproach which responds to theirdevelopment needs, while taking accountof the objectives of the Europe 2020strategy.”MarekWoźniak (PL/EPP),Marshal of the Wielkopolska region,Chairman of the COTER Commissionof the CoR“ft2Michel Lebrun (BE/EPP)Member of the Parliament of the French-speakingCommunity, Chair of the CoR’s Commission forFinancial and Administrative Affairs (CFAA)
  17. 17. 15I would like to see a stronger emphasis on cultureand innovationYouth unemployment hit a record high of 23% inautumn 2012 for the European Union. As Chair ofthe CoR Commission on Education,Youth, Cultureand Research (EDUC), I am devoted to the furtherdevelopment of youth policies at a time whenthe crisis is having a strong impact on the nextgeneration.Within this context, I would like to see a strongeremphasis on culture and innovation. In myopinion on promoting cultural and creativesectors for growth and jobs in the EU, I underlinethat the preservation and development ofculture, in all its expressions, is in serious dangerdue to the financial cuts. We have to rememberthat culture and creativity are important drivingforces for growth in the regional and localeconomy. Moreover, by giving young peoplethe opportunity to take part in cultural events,we enable them to broaden their horizons andovercome prejudices. This is an important steptowards a more inclusive, responsible and equalsociety. Culture and innovation is therefore, in myview, a cornerstone for developing jobs and skillsfor the next generation.There have been many proposals from theEuropeanCommissioninrelationtoyouthpoliciesand getting young people into work. Mostrecently, the Youth Employment Package. It is inthe EDUC Work programme for 2013 and we willensurethatlocalandregionalauthoritiescanhavetheir say. I also welcome the Youth Opportunityflagship initiative and the consultation on aquality framework for traineeships, as proposedby the European Commission. Such measures,within the Europe 2020 strategy’s Youth on theMove initiative, are also a clear priority for the IrishPresidency of the Council of Ministers. In manyMember States, local and regional authorities areprimarily responsible for youth policy. With theprinciple of subsidiarity in mind, we will endeavorto support all proposals that ensure young peoplecan have a smooth transition from education towork.Unemployment levels of young people are twice as high as the average of the total workforce and in some Member States, one in two below 25is now jobless as a result of the economic crisis. Youth unemployment stands at an unprecedented high of 5.5 million (23.6%, up by 50% since2008). Many of these young people looking for a job will miss opportunities because they lack the right qualifications or experience.The EuropeanCommission launchedYouth on the Move, the flagship initiative aimed at helping these young people to gain the knowledge, skills and experiencethey need to make their first job a reality. Part of the EU’s Europe 2020 strategy, Youth on the Move proposes 28 key actions aimed at makingeducation and training more relevant to young people’s needs and encouraging more of them to take advantage of EU grants to study or train inanother country. This will increase young people’s employability and access to the labour market.Anton Rombouts (NL/EPP)Mayor of the city of‘s-Hertogenbosch, Chairmanof the Education, Youth, Culture and ResearchCommission (EDUC) of the CoRYouth on the Move
  18. 18. Regions and cities supporting growth and jobs16One of the main goals for youth and educationpolicy in my city Hertogenbosch is to reducethe number of youngsters leaving schoolwithout qualifications. I believe that responsibleinvestments in culture and sport help to promotetolerance and mutual respect whilst creatinga safe city for all. As far as young people areconcerned, we need to ensure that they haveaccess to new skills and jobs; be this throughtraditional education or extracurricular activities.Unless we invest now in support of growth in a sustainablemanner, we risk a lost generationYoung people have borne the brunt of thecrisis: they face unprecedented levels ofunemployment and increased risks of socialexclusion and poverty. Unless we invest now insupport of growth in a sustainable manner, werisk a lost generation. Education, along with socialpolicies, have a crucial role to play; education inparticular is the foundation for developing theskills and competences which Europe needs toremain competitive and ensure we have the rightpeople for the jobs of tomorrow. We must createthe conditions that will help young people to beactive in society and to have a future. The criticalmass to achieve these objectives is there.The European Commission recently launchedthe “Rethinking Education” initiative whichcalls on Member States and regions to investmore in education and training and ensure thatinstitutions and systems are more open, flexibleand efficient. Everybody needs to master thebasic skills in literacy and numeracy, but thesealone are not enough to succeed in the modernknowledge economy. Young people also needgood computer skills, entrepreneurship skills, andto speak foreign languages. Fewer people willstay in the same job or profession throughouttheir working life in future. Skills which enhancepeople’s versatility are increasingly important.The Commission supports Member States byencouraging the exchange of good practice andideas, as well as monitoring national reforms.We also provide grants to more than 400 000young people a year to enhance their skillsthrough opportunities to study, train or volunteerabroad under the Lifelong Learning Programme(Erasmus, Leonardo, Comenius, Grundtvig) andYouth in Action. We have proposed to double thenumber of these grants through the new Erasmusfor all programme in 2014-2020. The Commissionalso promotes“youth guarantees”to avoid the riskof young people being out of work or educationfor too long. Reforming education and trainingsystems takes time, so it is essential that MemberStates and regions (which are normally the levelof government responsible for education andtraining) act now to ensure that today’s youngpeople do not become a lost generation.Youth on the Move can only be successfully implemented withthe help of local and regional authoritiesThe EU’s Youth on the Move flagship initiative canonly be successfully implemented with the help oflocal and regional authorities, because their contactwith young people puts them in the best positionto understand their situation and circumstances.Local and regional authorities can develop systemsto promote mobility in education and training pro-grammes and cross-border voluntary work by sup-porting the development organisations that sendor host volunteers, and also by encouraging youngpeople at local level to get involved in internationalvoluntary work.They can motivate young people to get involvedin local decision-making processes, so that today’syouth can contribute more to the economic, socialand political life of the regions. This can also helpAndroullaVassiliouEuropean Commissioner for Education, Culture,Multilingualism, Sport, Media and YouthAlin Adrian Nica (RO/ALDE)Mayor of Dudeştii Noi, former Chairman of theEducation, Youth, Culture and Research Commission(EDUC) of the CoRYouth on the Move“Cities and regionsare not only homefor Europeancitizens but alsothe heart and spirit of the European Union.They are the driving force for the Europe2020 strategy and the flagship initiativeYouth on the Move. The contribution tothe strategy by local and regional level isessential for its success.”Doris Pack,MEP, Chairwoman of the Cultureand Education Committee“af
  19. 19. Committee of the Regions’ contribution to the Europe 2020 strategy’s seven flagship initiatives17them to develop into conscientious Europeancitizens. The CoR opinion on the Green Paper onPromoting the learning mobility of young peoplenotes that local and regional authorities can makean important contribution to enhancing mobilityfor education purposes. This is particularly truewith respect to information, advice and awareness-raising, but also in most cases for quality control andfinancial support.Being represented at European level is criticallyimportant, especially for young people. Voluntarywork is an example: the European VoluntaryService enables young people to visit anothercountry, learn new languages, try out new careerpaths and further their personal development.The EU can support Member States like Romaniain helping voluntary organisations to overcomethe many obstacles (e.g. legal and financial) theyface. The EU also has major funding programmes,such as the European Social Fund and the Youthin Action programme, which provide supportand advice to national, local and regionalorganisations.New Youth Competence Centres are good tools for Investingin youth, new skills and jobsThesharpincreaseinyouthunemployment,linkedto a great extent to the current economic crisisand the subsequent decline in job creation, is alsodue to a mismatch between labour market needsand the available skills.Yet formal education is notthe only way of equipping people with the rightskills for employment. This is why it is necessaryto focus on learning outcomes as well as onknowledge and skills gained in practical contextsby recognising, inter alia, skills and competencespreviously acquired elsewhere, including throughinformal and non-formal education.TheYouth Competence Centres (YCC) in Antwerp,Belgium, which guide and encourage youngpeople to discover and develop their skills, area tangible example of this approach. We look athow people spend their leisure time and whattheir non-formal skills are.We make young peopleaware of their talents and offer them a chanceto start working with them. Our “‘occupationalcompetency tutors” work together with youngpeople to identify their needs when it comesto looking for work or deciding on appropriatetraining.There are currently three YCCs in Antwerp. The“de Branderij” YCC in Borgerhout focuses onthe implementation of integrated competencepathways in the same way as our other projectsin Antwerp, placing a particular emphasis onmanagement training and youth. At “21N” wefocus on reaching out to the maximum numberof vulnerable young people in their free time.The explicit objective is to improve their chanceson the labour market. Finally, “Zappa” , in Kiel,seeks to turn the skills that young people acquirein their leisure time into real assets on the labourmarket. YCCs are certainly no panacea but theydo represent an important step in the rightdirection.Youth on the MoveMia DeVits (BE/PES)Member of the Flemish Parliament
  20. 20. 18Agenda for New Skills and JobsThe role of local and regional authorities in promoting growthand creating jobsDuring this difficult period of economic crisisand repeated attempts at recovery, it is vitalto promote the role which the EU can play inrestoring growth, particularly through its localand regional authorities. The Committee ofthe Regions felt the need to table an opinionwhich, by distilling the experience of the regions,could provide strong and authoritative input forthe European debate. The opinion begins bynoting that socio-economic disparities betweenMember States and regions have been gettingbigger rather than smaller. The economic crisishas shown that public spending can no longer bemanaged inefficiently. Analysis of the institutions’proposals and of the situation has led theCommittee to the following conclusions:– The importance of strengthening the singlemarket, reducing regulatory complexity,mobilising the EIB and introducing projectbonds (especially in relation to the ConnectingEurope Facility) to fund fast-acting measures topromote growth;– The crucial role of local authorities and theneed to make better use of the ESF, theERDF and other EU programmes (Progressmicrofinancing facility and the EuropeanGlobalisation Adjustment Fund);– The need for more incentives forentrepreneurship, inter alia through Erasmusfor young entrepreneurs, and investments withchambers of commerce and the EnterpriseEurope Network;– PromotionofCSRandqualitylabels(bothpublicand private) to help and support employmentand industry and strengthen support forproper training, and apprenticeships with workexperience.This initiative outlines how the Commission will help the EU reach its employment target for 2020: 75% of the working-age population (20-64 years)in work.The Agenda also contributes to achieving the EU’s targets to get the early school-leaving rate below 10% and more young people in highereducation or equivalent vocational education (at least 40%), as well as to have at least 20 million fewer people in or at risk of poverty and socialexclusion by 2020. The Agenda presents a set of concrete actions that will help to:• Step up reforms to improve flexibility and security in the labour market;• Equip people with the right skills for the jobs of today and tomorrow;• Improve the quality of jobs and ensuring better working conditions;• Improve the conditions for job creation.Maria Luisa Coppola (IT/EPP)Regional councillor, Veneto Region“The economicand financial crisismakes a robustinvestment policy promoting economicand social cohesion more relevant thanever. By showing the way to support theEurope 2020 strategy targets with EU funds,the Common Strategic Framework willhelp Member States concentrate scarceresources on the key challenges and exploitsynergies better than in the past. It willshow for example how the investmentsof the European Social Fund can promotelabour market participation and reduceunemployment by focusing on youngpeople and the elderly, and how skills canbe improved by better apprenticeshippolicies, how education and trainingsystems can be reformed and activeinclusion supported. And it will also explainhow the other funds can contribute tothese vital objectives.”László Andor,European Commissioner for Employment,Social Affairs and Inclusion“am
  21. 21. Committee of the Regions’ contribution to the Europe 2020 strategy’s seven flagship initiatives19In 2013, the Committee of the Regions isconfirming its commitment to mapping out anew path to growth and recovery for Europe, andit will continue to play its part in bringing thesepriorities to the attention of the Council and theEuropean Parliament.The Hague: Working hard to develop new security clusterThe role of local and regional authorities indeveloping the European Agenda for New Skillsand Jobs is extremely important in enabling theEuropean economy to grow. The Committee ofthe Regions therefore recommended, back in2011, that the contribution of Europe’s provincesand municipalities should be strengthened,because they are in an excellent position todevelop strategic cooperation between educationinstitutions, businesses and governments. TheHague Security Delta (HSD) is a good example ofThe Hague’s contribution to achieving this agenda.The Hague is working hard to develop the securitycluster in the HSD. Businesses specialising in, forexample, cyber security, national security andforensic research are working together, benefitingfrom each other’s knowledge and innovation,with certain costs being shared where necessary.In order to strengthen the cluster even more,The Hague has taken the initiative to develop awide range of training courses in cooperationwith further and higher vocational educationinstitutions, universities in the region (Delft andLeiden) and industry. One good example of this isthe brand-new Cyber Security Academy.I am convinced that these kinds of regionalcooperation between local government, industryand knowledge institutions are the only way ofensuring that the European economy can growand be competitive. There are 300 businessesin The Hague region’s security cluster, with acombined turnover of EUR 1.5 billion. The sectorprovides 10 000 jobs, and the huge economicpotential of “security” means that this will rise to30 000. Moreover, turnover is expected to come toa good EUR 4 billion over several years.It is therefore necessary, from every point of view,to continue to look forward and to ensure thatpeople are well trained. Only then will we be ableto meet the expected increase in demand. We arealso contributing to increasing employment inEurope, which is a key focal point of the EuropeanAgenda for New Skills and Jobs.The SÖM Project in Malmö: towards a comprehensiveand sustainable way of integrating immigrantsThe Swedish city of Malmö is the Nordic country’sthirdlargestcity,afterStockholmandGothenburg,with a total population of nearly 300 000. 29%of the total population, or some 80 000 people,live in the metropolis’s south-eastern or “SÖM”area . Although it has the potential to be one ofthe most prosperous parts of Malmö, the SÖMarea suffers high unemployment and many ofits citizens consequently rely on regional or statesocial benefits. This was the main reason for theSwedish authorities’ 2003 decision to implement,in conjunction with the area’s businesses,associations and residents, what becameknown as the SÖM project. The SÖM projecthas developed some 10 measures fosteringregeneration in the area, thus achieving theobjectives of the Europe 2020 strategy, primarilysocial integration, growth of the local economyand combating unemployment. The cornerstoneof the project is a process of multi-sectoralcoordination based on an integration strategyto generate environmental, economic and socialsustainability and stimulate growth in Malmo’ssouth-eastern neighbourhoods, covering four citydistricts where there is high unemployment.This local project has enabled differentstakeholders from both the public and privatesectors, associations and NGOs to work togetherto achieve sustainable growth in the area.d b titi Th 300 b iHenk Kool (NL/PES)Alderman for social affairs, employment and theeconomy, Municipality of The HagueIlmar Reepalu (SE/PES)Mayor of MalmöAgenda for New Skills and Jobs
  22. 22. Regions and cities supporting growth and jobs20Furthermore, before the project got off theground, a public consultation and planningprocess took place to identify people’s real socialneeds.To go ahead with the project, the city had atotal budget of EUR 190 000, EUR 81 105 of whichcame from European funds (the European SocialFund and the European Regional DevelopmentFund) for the 2007-2013 financing period.The SÖM project recently received one of the2012 RegioStars awards, given each year by theEuropean Commission’s Directorate-Generalfor Regional Development for the best regionaldevelopment measures co-financed by the EU.The RegioStars awards comprise five categories:smart growth, sustainable growth, inclusivegrowth, CityStar and, finally, public informationand communication. These thematic groupsreflect the objectives set by the Commissionin the Europe 2020 strategy for the future ofcohesion policy. The projects provide an exampleof what European regions and cities can achievewith funding and investment from the EU, at thesame time benefiting the whole of Europe. TheSwedish project won the award in the CityStarcategory, for projects that promote integrationand development in deprived urban areas. Atthe awards ceremony held on 14 June 2012,Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for RegionalPolicy, stressed that the awards “show thesynergies between different EU programmes andhow Regional Policy is supporting innovation andsustainable development in different regionalcontexts’’. I am very proud of the work donethrough the SÖM project. Although work is stillongoing under the area-based programme fora socially sustainable Malmö, this award is proofthat through the SÖM project, the city of Malmöis moving in the right direction to achieve sociallysustainable development and demonstrates theimportant financing role played by Europeanfunds.For the Castile and León region, regional growth meansemploymentWe in Castile and León are working to help putthe Europe 2020 strategy into practice.To achieveregional development and growth and to counterthe effects of the crisis, such as unemployment –which has reached record levels across Europe– the move from study to the labour marketmust be made easier. To this end, we are taking aseries of steps such as enhancing access to high-quality training programmes. Tying in with theyouth employment initiative under the Europe2020 strategy, Aulaceei.com (the EuropeanBusiness and Innovation Centre for Castile andLeón) is a platform where young entrepreneurscan seek guidance, advice and training onstarting up a business. Its main task is to preparebusiness plans and harness business innovation.It offers a range of business courses from initialdesign, administration and innovation throughto business consolidation. The platform alsopromotes the dissemination of a business culturethrough topical workshops and by bringingfuture entrepreneurs together with academics topool know-how and update skills.The regional government of Castile and León haspublished a guide outlining the most relevantfuture career profiles for the region involvingtechnological development and innovation in aglobalised world. The main aim is to ensure thatthe region’s universities – who contributed to thestudy – bring their subject areas and programmesinto line with the future needs of the privateindustrial sector. The study has identified 67key profiles across six broad economic sectors(agrifood; health and quality of life; water, energyand the environment; transport and mobility;leisure and tourism; and industrial processes).These measures, to be included in the EuropeanCommission’s Youth Employment Package, areeffective and are helping society in Castile andLeón to tackle the crisis.Agenda for New Skills and JobsWe in Castile and León are working to help putJuanVicente Herrera Campo (ES/EPP)President of the Regional Government of Castileand Leon
  23. 23. 21Industrial Policy for the Globalisation EraLocal authorities are partners in revitalising industryLocal authorities are concerned by industrialpolicy, not only because they are the first to sufferthe consequences of deindustrialisation, but alsobecause they are partners, too often forgotten, inrevitalising industry.Three of the six priority lines of action proposedby the European Commission – bio-products,construction and sustainable raw materials,clean vehicles and smart networks – by theirvery nature have a local dimension. In addition,it is on a local level that changes in our way oflife and production methods are played out andinnovative ecosystems take root.Industry is above all a collection of skills,knowledgeandknow-howinbusinessesandtheirenvironment provided by the people of Europe.Local authorities have a key role in harnessing andgoverning all these things.In Picardy, the regional authorities have mobilisedlocal players on major issues such as bio-refinery,alternative energy, new forms of mobility,and clean and safe production processes. Thisapproach, which brings together research,innovation and training, is being introduced in theregion by the establishment of a technopolitannetwork and is one of the key strategies of theRegional Plan for Sustainable Development andSpatial Planning.In a knowledge-based society, regions are not justplaces where activities are carried out, but one ofthe major contributors to innovation and wealthcreation.Industry is at the centre of the new growth model for the EU economy as outlined in the Europe 2020 strategy. This initiative therefore proposes afresh approach to industrial policy that will strengthen EU competitiveness, provide growth and jobs, and enable the transition to a low-carbon andresource-efficient economy. For this purpose, it is essential to consider industrial policy in its wider sense, embracing those policies that have animpact on the cost, price and innovative competitiveness of industry and individual sectors, but also taking on board the competitiveness effectsof all other policy initiatives which can have an important influence on the cost, price and innovative competitiveness. This not only includes thesingle-market and trade policies, but also the transport, energy, environmental or social and consumer-protection policies.Local authorities are concerned by industrialClaude Gewerc (FR/PES)President of the Picardy Regional Council“Europe needsits real economynow more thanever to underpinthe recovery of economic growth andjobs and it needs to re-industrialise forthe 21st century. Immediate actionshould contribute to reverse the currentdownward trend and to promote there-industrialisation of Europe. Currentlyindustry accounts for about 16% of EUGDP. Therefore, the European Commissionhas set its goal that industry’s share of GDPshould be around 20% by 2020. Europe’sindustry is well placed to assume this role:Europe is a world-leader in many strategicsectors such as automotive, aeronautics,engineering, space, chemicals andpharmaceuticals. Industry still accountsfor 4/5 of Europe’s exports and 80% ofprivate sector R&D investment comes frommanufacturing. If confidence comes back,and with it new investments, Europe’sindustry can perform better and startgrowing again.”Antonio Tajani,Vice-President of the EuropeanCommission, responsible for Industryand Entrepreneurship
  24. 24. Regions and cities supporting growth and jobs22European small and medium-sized enterprises at a crossroadsIn 2012, the Polish Agency for EnterpriseDevelopment published a report showing thatin Poland 95% of firms are SMEs (compared toan EU average of 92%), with the majority beingone-person or family enterprises. If we look backover a longer period, it is clear that Polish SMEshave grown more quickly than the average EUcompany and considerably more quickly thantheir counterparts in Western Europe. Given themarket share SMEs already have in spite of alldifficulties, we can imagine what SMEs would looklike if barriers to their activities were removed andthey were given additional support.This is the aim of the 2014-2020 COSMEprogramme, i.e. the Programme for theCompetitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs(2014-2020). The proposal for a regulationof the European Parliament and the Councilestablishing this programme to a large extentguarantees support for the SME sector. Of course,one may well question whether the figure ofEUR 2522 bn is enough to support SMEs andenable them to succeed on European marketsand beyond. It is important that this programme,while taking account of the EU’s current policies,supports firms which will compete on foreignmarkets, focuses on entrepreneurship education,introduces a range of financial instruments andallows for the redevelopment of companiesheaded for bankruptcy and which have recoveryprogrammes.This programme will give hope and opportunitiesto thousands of SMEs throughout the EU toovercome current labour market conditions andincrease confidence in European business onboth European and global markets.New challenges for Industrial Policy in SaxonyThe European Union has acknowledged thata strong, diversified and globally competitiveindustrial base is important for the economyand thus also for people in general. As a highlyindustrialised region of Germany, Saxony verymuch welcomes this. In the early 1990s, i.e.immediately after the reunification of Germany,Saxony saw the need to improve competitivenessin the long-term by targeting future-orientedindustries for development.The Dresden-Freibergeconomic region, for example, has, to a definingdegree, become a centre for the semiconductorindustry and other “key enabling technologies”(KETs), putting it in competition not so much at EUas at global level.Therefore, in order to be globallycompetitive, we must for example improve ourtraining provision, free up labour markets andavoid overregulation, such as in legislation onchemicals.However, Europe’s competitiveness also restson strategic changes of approach focusing inparticular on KETs. As cross-cutting technologies,KETs have a decisive impact on all aspects of life.Saxony has therefore been involved in preparingthe KET strategy and will play an active role inimplementing it.One key element of the KET strategy is pilot linesto fill the gap between research and productionthat has been observed in Europe. The EuropeanUnion should provide industry with committedsupport in setting up these pilot lines, given thatthere is global competition for future-orientedtechnologies. Winning this competition as oftenas possible will enable us to secure jobs andprosperity for the future.Industrial Policyfor the Globalisation EraIn 2012 the Polish Agency for EnterpriseWitold Krochmal (PL/EA),Member of the Wołów Town Council, coordinatorof the EA group at the ECOS commissionJürgen Martens (DE/ALDE)State Minister, Saxony Ministry for Justiceand for Europe“Forthe2014–2020fundingperiod,theEuropeanCommissionhasenvisagedaroundEUR182billionintotalfortheEuropeanRegionalDevelopmentFund.AssumingtheEuropeanParliamentandtheCounciltakeuptheproposal,thismeansthatthefundcancontinueduringthatperiodtoplayitsspecialroleinpromotinggrowthandjobsandimplementingtheEurope2020strategyatgrassrootslevel.TheimportantthingherefromtheCommitteeoftheRegions’pointofviewisthattheERDFregulationleaveslocalandregionalauthoritieswiththenecessaryleewaytodraftandimplementdevelopmentstrategiestailoredtolocalandregionalneeds. Among other things, this means thatthe range of ERDF support available mustnot be unduly restricted and so preventedfrom being given, for example, to largerbusinesses or important infrastructureprojects in more developed regions.”Michael Schneider (DE/EPP),State Secretary, Plenipotentiary of Saxony-Anhalt to the German Federal Government“2ftCe“The regionalstate aid revisionprocess will befinalised in May2013. We can’tafford to waste scarce public resources inthe present situation and we can’t affordthe competition distortions and the harmto growth opportunities that such wastefulsubsidies would create. It is not onlyimportant to establish that the aid has anincentive effect, but also that this aid willcontribute to our common objective: thatis, the economic development of regionsacross the EU. In other words: it needs tobe well designed. Good subsidised projectsare those that can contribute effectivelyto a region’s development strategy andwe know that the impact is higher in theleast developed regions. Given the evidencewe have reviewed about the generalineffectiveness of aid to large companies inmore advanced regions, I believe that, onbalance, regional investment aid to largecompanies should be allowed only in theleast developed regions – the so-called “Aregions” in state aid terminology.”Joaquín Almunia,Vice-President of the EuropeanCommission responsible for CompetitionPolicy
  25. 25. 23European Platform Against Poverty and Social ExclusionWe will continue to push for a stronger social dimensionin the current political agendaTacklingtheconsequencesofthefinancial,economicand social crisis at the local and regional levelremains the key concern of the CoR’s Commissionfor Economic and Social Policy (ECOS). The ECOSCommission will therefore contribute activelyto European policy-making aimed at creatingsustainable jobs, addressing youth unemploymentand protecting the vulnerable from falling intopoverty, while managing public debt with a viewto achieving sustainable budgetary balances. Thesechallenges will be addressed through severalactivities during 2013-2014.The ECOS Commission’s priority is to contributetothefutureoftheEuropeanstrategyforjobsandgrowth. Unlocking the full potential of the singlemarket is seen as a future source of sustainablegrowth and jobs. The ECOS Commission iscurrently focussing on the governance ofthe single market. The ECOS Commission willclosely follow developments in relation to thesingle market reform to be launched under theumbrella of the Single Market Act II. Furthermore,the ECOS Commission will continue its efforts topromote small and medium-sized enterprisesand monitor the implementation of the COSMEprogramme, on which it has recently issued anopinion. The fight for a substantial reductionin administrative burdens for SMEs remains apriority for ECOS. As a member of the EuropeanEntrepreneurial Region (EER) Award Jury, it willalso promote an SME-friendly approach and the“thinksmallfirst”principlethroughouttheregionsof Europe, thus contributing to the creationof jobs and increasing the competitiveness ofEuropean SMEs.In 2013, more than 80 million people across the Union are living below the poverty line. Women account for well over half of them and 20 millionare children. Young people, migrants and the low skilled, often relying on temporary and low-paid jobs, have experienced the greatest increasesin unemployment and are therefore exposed to a worsening of their living conditions. The so-called “working-poor” represented 8% of theworking population, while the risk of poverty rose significantly for the unemployed. Official data showed Eurozone unemployment rose to 11.8%in November 2012, the highest since the euro currency was founded in 1999. The rate was up from 11.7% in October and 10.6% a year earlier.Furthermore, 8% of Europeans live in conditions of severe material deprivation and cannot afford a number of necessities considered essential inorder to live a decent life in Europe, such as a telephone, or adequate heating. In the poorest countries, the rate is more than 30%. Moreover, over9% of European population in working age live in households where nobody works.Tacklingtheconsequencesofthefinancial economicSimone Beissel (Luxembourg/ALDE)Municipal Councillor of the City of Luxembourg,Chairwoman of the CoR ECOS Commission
  26. 26. Regions and cities supporting growth and jobs24Despite the poverty reduction targets set by theEurope 2020 strategy, more and more people arefinding themselves in need of support for theirlivelihoods, and local and regional authorities mustrespond to this increased need despite their oftenlimited budgets for social protection measures. Wewill therefore continue to push for a stronger socialdimension in the current political agenda.The experience of Uszka, a predominantly Roma-populatedmunicipality in Eastern HungaryBefore 1989, the Roma population used to migrateto work in the Western part of Hungary since therewere no work opportunities in our region. Afterthe change in political regime, these commutingRoma were the first to be affected by massiveunemployment. Following local elections in 1994,the municipal representatives’ main programmewas to help Roma find work and housing. Thereturning Roma received land on which to buildhouses with social support. By providing practicaland efficient assistance to the Roma population,our municipality demonstrated that there was nodiscrimination between Roma and non-Roma andthatbothcommunitieslivedtogetherinpeaceandharmony. As a result, since 1990, its population hasalmost doubled from 228 to 419.Furthermore, the Roma accepted an offer wherebythe local government provided financial andmaterial support and the Roma provided the labourto renovate housing. As a result, 67 houses wererenovated and five new houses were bought forRoma in difficult social circumstances. A new modelprogramme, the “Education Centre”, was started.As a result the grades of Roma pupils increased by30%. Moreover, 37 Roma adults completed primaryeducation at this Education Centre.Our local government’s third initiative was toprovide basic support for Roma families whowanted to engage in intensive cucumberproduction, for which there is a stable market inthe region.The initiative was successful. A relativelysmall capital investment has given 25 Romafamilies a stable source of revenue from May toSeptember each year. Our experience shows thatthe Roma can be integrated, with support from thepublic authorities and municipal government, andthat since integration leads to new skills and jobs, itdoes not require substantial financial support, buta more human approach that respects the dignityand culture of the Roma people.The Neuvokas network is bringing human warmthto the Arctic Lapland regionRovaniemi, in the Arctic area of Finland, is thenorthernmost town in the EU. In terms of areait is also the largest town in the EU, extendingover 8,200 square kilometres. With its 60,000inhabitants living far beyond the Arctic Circle,it is also a very sparsely populated area. Riversand lakes are frozen for eight months everyyear. Rovaniemi calls itself “the beating heartof Lapland”: it is the capital of Lapland and thegateway to the home of the only indigenouspeople in the EU, the Sami folk. It is, of course, alsoknown as the official hometown of Santa Claus.For almost 20 years the Streetwork network“Neuvokas” (http://www.neuvokasrovaniemi.fi)has been working in Rovaniemi, taking care of old,sick, poor and lonely people. Its work is based onthree principles:– cross-border/culture/generations/districts;– subsidiarity: always be as near to people aspossible;– Arctic, sparsely populated society: make itmore cohesive.43 voluntary public health organisations in thearea are working together to tackle diverse issuessuch as: different clinical handicaps, loneliness,European Platform Against Povertyand Social ExclusionIstván Sértő-Radics (HU/ALDE)Mayor of UszkaAntti Liikkanen (FI/PES)Member of Rovaniemi City Council, foundingmember and former Chairman of the boardof Neuvokas network

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