August 28, 2008
European Tourism Forum 2008 and European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) Awards Ceremony, Bordeaux, 18-19 September
The European Tourism Forum 2008 is being organised by the European Commission in collaboration with the French Presidency, and will be held in Bordeaux on 18-19 September.
The selected theme is “The European Tourism Offer: Quality and Sustainability vis-à-vis Demand Trends". Three sub-themes are being proposed for the three consecutive panels, namely "Europe’s Adaptability to World Tourism Demand Trends", "Integrating Competitiveness and Sustainability Criteria in the Adaptation of the European Tourism Offer" and "Facilitating the Adaptation of EU Quality Tourism Jobs".
The European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) Awards Ceremony and exhibition and an informal ministerial meeting of Ministers of Tourism from Member States will take place on the 18th September.
Further information: http://etf.tourisme.gouv.fr
Posted by iroronan at August 28, 2008 04:06 PM
August 01, 2008
Open Days, Brussels - 6-9 October
Every autumn, Europe’s regions and cities take over Brussels for a week of information and networking events relating to regional policy themes. The Open Days week brings together policy-makers, officials, financial institutions, business interests, associations and NGOs and is organised by the Committee of the Regions and the European Commission's DG REGIO. This year’s Open Days, subtitled "Regions and cities in a challenging world", will include a host of workshops and seminars on topics ranging from climate change to energy, tourism, research, technological development and innovation, competitiveness, maritime, migrant integration, ICT capabilities and the creative economy. The IRO is among the active partners to the week and has joined the ‘Celtic Connections’ consortium along with other regional representations from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Asturias, Galicia and Norte Portugal to deliver a 7 October conference on ‘Climate Change’s impact on our shores – meeting the challenges posed by extreme weather conditions’. This will include a presentation on Dublin City Council’s experiences on the SAFER flood risk project funded under Interreg IIIB NWE. Separately, NASC - West of Ireland Office, Dublin City Council and the Department of Finance will also be involved in other consortia and events. To coincide with Open Days, the Regional Assemblies are also each organising autumn events in Ireland. The Southern & Eastern Assembly will hold a workshop on ‘ICT usage and SMEs’ in Dublin on 3 October and the BMW Assembly will run a seminar in Inchydoney, Co. Cork on 17 October on ‘Ireland’s water resources’. Open Days is a very popular event so register promptly for seminars and accommodation at: www.opendays.europa.eu
Posted by iroronan at August 1, 2008 03:43 PM
August 01, 2008
Funding for Economic and Natural Disasters
The €500 million European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) has begun softening the blow of significant job losses caused by companies directly affected by "major structural changes in world trade patterns”. Under defined criteria, since last year Member States have been able to claim financial assistance to support retraining, upskilling or job search allowances related to significant numbers of interrelated redundancies affecting an enterprise, region or recognisable industrial sector. Payments totalling €13.6 million have been authorised recently to the national authorities to help 3,700 dismissed workers in the Portuguese and Spanish automotive sector and the Maltese textile sector to get back to work. However with €467 million still uncommitted, the first EGF Annual Report published in early July has seen the Commission propose simplified application procedures, with a view to clarifying and speeding up decision-making on applications and revising the EGF regulation. This move if approved, would significantly enlarge the fund’s scope through a downward revision of the eligibility threshold (currently standing at 1,000 workers); an increase in the duration of aid; a widening of its fields of applicability to see it applied to redundancies caused by changes in the evolution of technologies, production patterns, access to raw materials or price fluctuations; as well as to indirect job losses (to other companies in the geographical zone concerned). The financing of mobility allowances for workers looking for jobs in other Member States is also proposed. Meanwhile the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) has made available aid totalling €162.4 million to help deal with the consequences of devastating floods that hit parts of England, Northern Ireland and Wales last summer. This can be employed towards the cost of emergency measures such as rescue services; restoring roads, water infrastructure and schools; securing dams; providing temporary accommodation;. and clean-up activities. Recent Commission proposals to extend the fund’s scope to cover damage due to industrial accidents and to drop the threshold for intervention have been shelved by the Council of Ministers. Globalisation fund: http://ec.europa.eu/egfSolidarity fund: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/funds/solidar/solid_en.htm
Posted by iroronan at August 1, 2008 03:41 PM
August 01, 2008
Interreg NWE: Latest Project Approvals and Workshop
Several Irish organisations secured a collective €2.1 million in ERDF funding after the 2nd call of the Interreg IVB North West Europe programme approved a further 12 transnational cooperation projects. South Kerry Development Partnership will act as lead partners on COLLABOR8 (identity-based economic development); Dublin Transportation Office - with sub-partners DIT, Dublin City Council and An Taisce - are to be involved in BAPTS (public transport systems); while the capital’s local authority have scored a further dual success as full partners to ICMA (start-to-end journey alternatives to the private car) and ECCE Innovation (creative industries) – the latter further involving Dublin City Enterprise Board and the Digital Hub as sub-partners. This follows upon the 1st call approval of the IMCORE project (management of impacts of climate change on coastal areas) led by the Coastal and Marine Resources Centre in UCC and also involving Cork County Council. 29% of the programme's €352 million funds have been allocated to date with almost half of that having been spent on ‘connectivity’ (transport and ICT) projects. The 3rd Call will open from 8 September to 3 October with the usual guidance workshop for likely UK and Ireland participants being scheduled for 2 September in Chester. Members of the Joint Technical Secretariat (JTS) will be on hand along with the UK and Irish Contact Points and, as well as providing an up-to-date information session, one-to-one assessment clinics covering project and financial management will be available to promoters (particularly leads) who have registered a draft idea online in good time. Workshop details: www.nweurope.eu/index.php?act=read_news&id=1430
Posted by iroronan at August 1, 2008 03:32 PM