On Monday 7th, the Committee of the Regions held an event called “Investing in Europe: building a coalition of smart cities & regions towards a third industrial revolution”. The topic was based on the work of economic and social theorist Jeremy Rifkin, who was present in person to introduce the topic and to provide useful insight throughout the whole day.

Mr. Rifkin advocates that the previous growth model based on oil had its peak and is now in decline. That explains why growth and productivity are low and stagnating in the western world. The next economic model, based on new technologies that are now available and on a new economic paradigm based on the collaborative economy, is slowly taking shape under our eyes. The mechanisms laying underneath this new state of mind are based on a new assertion: Sharing is not dividing anymore, sharing is multiplying. As the internet sharing…

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While regional and local authorities are on the frontline of ambitious and sustainable development initiatives, they also often lack the funds and the resources to make them happen. This can have many causes: The own resources are too limited, the project are too local or too little to get attention from a private partner or to be eligible for a bank loan. That situation is even more regrettable that this kind of projects can have a very positive impact on the local communities.

In order to tackle the problem and to allow these projects to see the light, Citizenergy was created with the support of the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme in 2014. This is a platform offering alternative sources of funding to public initiatives in the field of renewable energy.

In its position paper, available here, Citizenergy outlines the different advantages of the existing platform and the crowdfunding methods for…

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The Circular economy is a concept referring to a consumption model based on the intelligent design and the reuse of materials. This model allows a greater efficiency in terms of resources availability and is relevant to the current efforts to diminish the Human footprint on the environment. The shift from a traditional way of using resources to the circular economy model is a priority for the EU, as the modernisation of our way to consume will have several positive consequences, such as the reduction of waste volume, the evolution towards a cleaner life environment and the development of efficient waste treatment infrastructures. There is a strong business case behind it which enables companies to make substantial economic gains and become more competitive. It delivers important energy savings and environmental benefits. It creates local jobs and opportunities for social integration. It is closely interlinked with key EU priorities on jobs and…

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The Creative Europe Programme was launched in 2013. It replaced and improved the previous MEDIA and cultures programmes. Under its current form and until 2020, its objectives are to safeguard, develop and promote European cultural and linguistic diversity and to promote Europe's cultural heritage and to strengthen the competitiveness of the European cultural and creative sectors, in particular of the audiovisual sector, with a view to promoting smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

As the programme is now halfway through its implementation, the Commission seeks to gather feedback that will be helpful to assess the relevance and the efficiency of the programme and what changes need to be made for its successor.

The questionnaire, which can only be completed online, is available here. Questions are available in PDFformat there in order to prepare the answers. Even if the questions are only available in English, feel welcome to answer in any of EU’s…

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In order to make effective policy-making decisions in the education sector, it is essential to have a solid evidence base. But for now, the mechanisms and data used to do so differed from country to country, making it difficult to shape policies at the European level. 

This report describes the mechanisms and practices that support evidence-based policy-making in the education sector in Europe. It provides an initial mapping of a complex area. It compares institutions and practices in evidence-based policy-making, as well as the accessibility, and mediation, of evidence. The report also presents more detailed information, with specific examples of the use of evidence in policy formulation for each individual country.

Information was provided by Eurydice National Units and covers the 28 EU Member States as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, and Turkey.

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The conference is organized to facilitate funding mobilization for energy projects. The three key pillars that were presented are a more efficient use of public funding, the aggregation of smaller projects and the necessity of de-risking of EE investment. Throughout the conference, a financial market place was established with informational stands of different initiatives and project coordinators, giving the participants the opportunity to be informed and get in contact with organisations working on energy projects.

During this conference, among very qualified speakers, two of them particularly retained our attention. First, Ms Gergana Miladinova explained the point of view of the DG REGIO about the funding available for energy projects from the ESIF. There is a strong focus on low carbon economy in the Cohesion Policy framework. Since it is a rather new field for the Cohesion Policy, the discussion with member states and regions on how to best spend the…

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The Erasmus Programme, which allows thousands of Europeans to spend part of their curriculum in other European countries, is this year turning 30. Even though the reach, the structure and the importance of Erasmus evolved and changed through the years, it is now one of the most popular and successful EU programmes.

When it was first launched in 1987, it had far less importance than today. It only concerned a little more than 3000 students, exchanged students only between Member States of what was then the European Community and lasted a year. Internet was far less developed so the experience was really a big jump in the unknown, without weekly skype conversations with parents and friends. At first, everything was to be build and the participating countries were far from unanimous about supporting the project.

Through the years, however, the Programme gained an enormous popularity amongst students and can be…

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In 2016, 970 000 people took part in the Code Week, that was held in 50 countries from all around the world. A lot of the participants were kids, as the average age was 11, and almost half of them were girls or women. This edition was the fourth, and success was met as the participation represented an increase of 70% compared to 2015.

The organization of the Code Week events and the multiplication of activities and initiatives linked to digital knowledge are consistent with the European Union’s objectives of better education, strengthened innovation and better jobs for the future. As coding is very likely to become indispensable for future jobs, it is important to offer to the younger generations the tools they will need. The goal is to show that anyone can create and build things with code – just as we do with stones, bricks, clay and wood.…

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