Registration Deadline: Friday 27 September

The European Week of Regions and Cities #EURegionsWeek is an annual four-day event during which cities and regions showcase their capacity to create growth and jobs, implement European Union Cohesion Policy, and demonstrate the importance of the local and regional levels for good European governance. From 7 to 10 October 2019, more than six thousand people from all over Europe and beyond are expected to join the largest event of European Regions and Cities, this year under the headline “Regions and Cities: Pillars of the EU’s Future”. More info:

The #EURegionsWeek UNIVERSITY SESSIONS are organised by the European Commission, DG for Regional and Urban Policy, DG Employ and the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) advised by the Regional Studies Association European Foundation (RSA Europe) and with the cooperation of the European Regional Science Association (ERSA) and the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP). 

How to sign up? The #EURegionsWeek UNIVERSITY SESSIONS are free to attend but as places are limited, we recommend signing up as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. To register, go to and filter by keyword “#EURegionsWeek UNIVERSITY“, then click on the session title and read the detailed description. If you are interested sign in with/create your EU Login account and click on “Add session” button. Do not forget register for sessions before registration closes on Friday 27 September!


Circular Economy Transitions in European Regions and Cities Tue 8, October 2019; 16:30 – 19:00

Circular Economy (CE) is the new sustainability paradigm and has become an increasingly prominent item on the agenda of strategies and policies of European cities and regions. However, the approaches to CE, the capacity to embrace it, and the advancement on the transition towards it, vary greatly across Europe. Against this background, the session delivers (1) a state-of-the-art on circular regions and cities; (2) an overview of the state of play and of eco-innovative territorial circularity solutions in selected leading regions; as well as (3) an opportunity to engage in a discussion on the ways in which EU Cohesion Policy could be leveraged to promote regional and urban CE strategies.

Citizen Entrepreneurship: Towards involvement, inclusion and integration of citizens in entrepreneurial Europe Wed 9, October 2019; 14:30 – 16:00

The main objective of the session on Citizen Entrepreneurship (CE) is to promote the idea of proactive involvement of citizens, as users, producers, consumers, and environmental gatekeepers in the private, social, and public forms of new venture creation and growth. The workshop will explore how citizens can be engaged in entrepreneurial initiatives beyond self-employment and business creation where their ideas, resources and self-governance capabilities can be harnessed for sustainable economic and social development in local communities.

Co-creation of Public Services: Challenges and Opportunities in Theory and Practice Tue 8, October 2019; 14:30 – 16:00

This session examines how local communities and citizens may play a role in creating policy that will influence, shape and reform public service. Co-creation is a method that may contribute to the reforming of public services from the perspective of active citizen engagement. Currently, co-creation is poorly defined and is often no more than a ‘buzz word’ within public administration. The session will explore lessons learnt, using findings from ongoing Horizon2020-research in nine European countries, and explore new and innovative approaches towards co-creation that can generate public value.

Global Talents, Immigration Policy and Regional Innovation Wed 9, October 2019; 11:30 – 13:00

European regions are competing globally in attracting the brightest talents. In fact, many leading economic industries would not exist without these capacities. However, the high concentration of high-skilled workers in a few hot spots is also a source of concern, as benefits and costs of immigration are not evenly distributed across regions, jobs and sectors. As result, anti-immigration sentiments are flourishing in Europe and elsewhere. This session explores ways in which European cities and regions can deal with these challenges by keeping borders open to global talents as well as addressing the fear and concerns of those who feel excluded by the benefits of high-skilled immigration.

Maximising the Contribution of Universities to Regional Innovation – Lessons and Toolkits for Policymaking Thu 10, October 2019; 11:30 – 13:00

Universities are increasingly seen as critical actors in regional innovation, especially in peripheral places. However many of the conceptual frameworks for understanding the role of universities have not been flexible enough to reflect the specificities of the place and context in which they operate. This session will start by outlining the policy ‘problem’.  It will then present the findings from three key initiatives that have sought to address this. This will be followed by a robust discussion in plenary to determine ways forward for better policy design and implementation in the future.

Shrinking Rural Regions and Spatial Justice Tue 8, October 2019; 11:30 – 13:00

This session focuses on shrinking rural areas, and how to meet their needs in twenty-first century ways. The ESPON ESCAPE project explores the concepts of simple (demographic) and complex (economic and social) shrinkage in their various manifestations across European space. It takes a fresh look at policy approaches, both conventional mitigation (to reverse decline) and adaptation (maximising wellbeing despite decline). The H2020 RELOCAL project explores, within the context of 33 European case studies, the various factors which either promote or inhibit spatial justice (defined as a fair distribution of opportunities and resources, and as “having a voice” in the context of governance).

Territorialising EU Cohesion Policy to bring it closer to citizens Tue 8, October 2019; 09:15 – 10:45

Cohesion Policy has the potential for remedying the eroding image of the EU among citizens, as it impacts directly the citizens’ lives and their cities and regions. This potential, however, is weakened by ineffective communication, investment ignoring the actual needs of the territories and detachment from domestic spatial planning processes. This session reopens the debate on territorialisation of Cohesion Policy to ensure greater synergies between its instruments and urban policies and planning practice in European cities and regions and to deliver impacts that matter for European citizens.

The importance of networks in regional economic smart specialization policies Wed 9, October 2019; 16:30 – 19:00

Regional economic policy needs to be based on research that goes beyond the traditional regional benchmarks that simply compare all regions on many possible indicators, as exactly this ignores specific regional differences. We show how different networks of trade, knowledge or direct investment affect regional economic development and how policy makers could use the increasing flow in (inter-)regional information in policymaking within a theoretically sound framework.

The regional socio-economic impact of the 4th industrial revolution Thu 10, October 2019; 09:15 – 10:45

The so-called 4th industrial revolution is expected to lead societies and economies to adapt and to undertake pervasive, if not disruptive, transformations. The present session aims at stimulating policy reflections on the territorial dimension of such processes by discussing:

  • territorial evidence on the advancement of technological transformations in European regions
  • the territorial mechanisms favouring the emergence and diffusion of the new technologies
  • the territorial impact on economic performance and the society of the present technological transformation.

Transforming cities into arenas for healthy ageing Wed 9, October 2019; 09:15 – 10:45

All Europe is facing the same ageing population challenge. We explore how we link the needs and aspirations of increasingly diverse and unequal older people with the advantages of living in cities which are being transformed by political, environmental and socio-economic forces. This session explores four issues: How should we understand an age-friendly city?  How can business benefit from the longevity economy? How can we challenge the development industry to build better housing? How can we work effectively with older adults as co-researchers and co-designers of policy and place?