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Open days in Brussels 2012

From 8th to 11th of October, 2012 Brussels hosted the 10th European week of regions and cities during the so called OPEN DAYS.


Since 2003, the OPEN DAYS have become an annual key regional forum allowing participants from all over Europe to present and share their experiences in implementing the EU cohesion policy. Some 6000 participants were expected to come to Brussels, including representatives of public regional authorities, private companies, financial institutions, international associations and academic circles. The workshops and seminars for this year are related to: 1. Smart and green growth for all, 2. Territorial cooperation, an asset for Europe and 3.Delivering results – What are the main achievements of the EU cohesion policy?

This year one theme in the Open Days was INTERREG IVC which had an opportunity to have an exhibition of project achievements. During the 10th edition of the OPEN DAYS, special attention was given to European territorial cooperation programmes. 10 stands (one for each subtheme of the Programme) were placed on the 5th and 6th floors of the Committee of Regions building.

One of the projects in the exhibition was ENGAGE which was presented on a large poster highlighting the good practice in Suupohja. In addition, the project had an interactive table (like big iPad) from the University of Bremen which was an amazing tool to present and demonstrate the project and its targets as well as the partners, good practices etc. The project representatives were Anne-Mari Leppinen (SEK/Finland), Annika Mayer and Roland Kerstein (EventFive/Germany), Colm McColgan (Ernact/Ireland) and Gaelle Rousseau (Niverlan/France).

On the first day, there was the official opening ceremony of the exhibition when a lot of people visited the ENGAGE stand. Also the following three days were a success since the table attracted curious visitors. Their curiosity towards the table gave us a great opportunity to tell about the project. The table witnessed a number of very interesting discussions about the ICT situation in Europe and the message was, almost without an exception the same: ENGAGE is needed in order to keep rural areas, and thus the whole Europe, vital and competitive. We met many visitors from EU as well as regional and national decision makers and project leaders. We were also very honoured to capture the attention of Interreg IVC JTS whose representatives led by Deputy Programme Director Erwin Siweris visited the stand. They were very impressed about the way ENGAGE disseminated and presented the project.

The project caught a lot of publicity in social and printed media. There were many posts in LinkedIn and for example Europost made a large article about ENGAGE.

As a conclusion, the exhibition was very fruitful for both the project attendees and the audience. ENGAGE got lot of visibility and attention which was shown as numerous contacts afterwards. For example one result of the exhibition was a request to be a key speaker in ICT workshop in Stockholm.

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