The CPMR’s member regions from across Europe will gather for its General Assembly in Funchal, Madeira from 18-20 October 2018.

The 46th CPMR General Assembly, involving region presidents, elected politicians, MEPS and European Commission officials, has been organised at the kind invitation of Mr Miguel Albuquerque, President of the Regional Government of Madeira.

The General Assembly will also have the honour of welcoming the President of the Portuguese Republic, Mr Marcelo Nuno Duarte Rebelo de Sousa, who will open the annual meeting, along with the Ambassador of the Embassy of Austria in Lisbon, Mr Robert Zischg, and the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Mr Carlos Moedas.

Ahead of the meeting, CPMR President, Vasco Cordeiro, has stated that the CPMR’s member regions are united together in their drive for the same goal: to build a better future for regions and citizens across Europe.

CPMR Secretary General, Eleni Marianou, said: “This meeting takes place at a crucial time for our member regions. The EU budget proposals have so far failed to realise the vision necessary to shape Europe’s future, so we must all act together to persuade the European Parliament and Council to demonstrate bravery and solidarity during these unprecedent moments for the European project”.

The agenda for the meeting involves key interlocutors and debates on the Future of the European project, and the post-2020 EU budget. There will also be key discussions on the future of the EU Cohesion Policy, Integrated Maritime Policy, Transport and Accessibility, the Migration crisis and Climate Change.

Kicking off the debate, the Future of Europe session will be moderated by former MEP, Sir Graham Watson, and will include addresses from Mrs Forough Salami-Dadkhah, Vice-President of Brittany Region, Mr Patrizio Bianchi, Regional Minister of Emilia Romagna Region and Vice-President of the CPMR Intermediterranean Commission, and Professor Dimitrios Skiadas, from the Department of International and European Studies at the University of Macedonia in Greece.

Adding weight to this debate, will be the session on the EU Budget, which will be chaired by CPMR President, Vasco Cordeiro. This session will include important input from MEP’s Mrs Isabelle Thomas co rapporteur on the future MFF and Mr José Manuel Fernandes as well as Nicola Dobroslavic, rapporteur for the MFF of the Committee of the Regions and President of the Dubrovnik County of Croatia.

Another key area of focus connected to the EU budget is the reform of Cohesion Policy after 2020, which remains at the heart of the CPMR’s work. The Cohesion policy session, to be chaired by Mr Enrico Rossi, President of the Tuscany Region, will include key addresses by MEP Mrs Liliana Rodrigues, Mr Normunds Popens, Deputy Director General of the European Commission’s DG REGIO, Mr Michiel Rijsberman, Regional Minister of Flevoland, and Mr Filip Reinhag, Vice-Mayor of Region Gotland.

In addition, the debate on Transport and Accessibility, to be chaired by Mrs Annika Annerby Jansson, ice-President of Region Skåne, will debate developments regarding all these important issues. This session will involve addresses by MEP Mrs Cláudia Monteiro De Aguiar, Mr Jean-Louis Colson, Head of Unit at DG MOVE, and Mr Francisco Martín, Regional Minister for the Government of Cantabria, and Mr José Luis Ferrando Calatayud, Secretary for Housing, Public Works and Spatial Planning, for Generalitat Valenciana.

Shifting the focus to the maritime agenda and sustainable blue growth, this session will be led by Mr George Alexakis, Vice Governor of Crete. Mr Veronika Veits, Director at DG Mare, and Mr Sebastien Pilard, regional councillor from the Pays de la Loire region, will also speak.

Moving on to Migration, the session, will be chaired by Mr Apostolos Katsifaras, Regional Governor of Western Greece and President of the CPMR Intermediterranean Commission, and will include an address by Mrs Gemma Pinyol, Head of Migration Policies and Diversity, at Instrategies, a video message from Mrs Paraskevi Michou, Director General at DG HOME, and addresses from Mr Ángel Luis Sánchez Muñoz, Secretary-General of External Action, Junta de Andalucia, and Mrs Christiana Kalogirou, Regional Governor for the North Aegean Region. Mr Manuel Pleguezuelo Alonso, Director General for EU Affairs, External Action and Cooperation, at Murcia Region, will also share his region’s experiences.

In addition, The CPMR’s policy position on the European Commission’s Long-Term Strategy for Reducing Emissions will be presented during the climate session, which will be chaired by Mr Cees Loggen, Regional Minister of Noord-Holland. The session will also include a keynote address by MEP Mr Fredrick Federley, and a panel discussion involving Mrs Kerstin Brunnström, Regional Councillor of Region Västra Götaland and President of the CPMR North Sea Commission, Mr Claus Kjeldsen, Councillor of Region Midtjylland and Mr Kimmo Kiljunen, from the Helsinki-Uusimaa Region.

And finally, completing the sessions, there will be a discussion on the Strategic Plan for the Future of the CPMR. For this session the CPMR will be using an interactive mechanism where all members will be asked to give their opinion on the CPMR’s functioning and future work, engaging directly in the debate which will build towards the adoption of the renewed CPMR strategic plan post 2020.

The debates at the General Assembly will culminate in the adoption of the Final Declaration which will cover all the policy issues discussed over the two days of the meeting.

To find out more and read the full agenda for the CPMR General Assembly, visit the CPMR website.