The CPMR agenda is intensifying in the upcoming months with the geographical commissions’ annual general meetings to take place between end of May and beginning of July 2016.


19- 20 May, Annual General Meeting of the CPMR Islands Commission – Rhodes (South Aegean, GR)

The 36th Islands Commission annual general meeting will take place in Rhodes from 19 to 20 May 2016 and will address the topic: “What realities and what opportunities for islands in a changing Europe?” on the kind invitation of George HATZIMARKOS, Governor of South Aegean Region.

The first session focuses on islands and Cohesion Policy where several EU institutions representatives are invited to address CPMR island-



members and share with them their views on how islands’ needs can be better taken into account in cohesion policy. Corina CRETU, Commissioner for Regional Policy from the European Commission, Giorgos STATHAKIS, Minister of Economy, Development and Tourism from Greece, while from the European Parliament Dimitris PAPADIMOULIS, member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), Vice-Chair of the European Parliament, and Tonino PICULA, Vice-Chair of the SEARICA Intergroup, Jan OLBRYCHT, Member of the Committee on Budgets (BUDG) are invited to intervene.

A second session will address “the Islands as (un)equal in the internal market: The role of State Aid” where two MEPS, namely Alfred SANT, Member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) and Maria SPYRAKI, Member of the Committee on Regional Development (REGI), are invited to exchange with CPMR island-members on how State Aid can be used to address the overcosts that islands face.

Last but not least, the emergencies that the Mediterranean regions have faced and the solutions that regional authorities can deliver to address the migration crisis will be put forward in a last debate session on “The reality of the migration crisis: Challenges and opportunities for cooperation”.  Dimitris AVRAMOPOULOS, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship is invited to share his views and provide to CPMR island-members some insights on the European Commission proposals. From the European Parliament, Elissavet VOZEMBERG -VRIONIDI and Miltiadis KYRKOS, Members of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, are invited to join the debate and share their views.

For more information and registration

25 – 27 May, General Assembly of the CPMR Baltic Sea Commission (Gävleborg, SE)

Gavleborg_LänsmuseetThe 21st General Assembly of the CPMR Baltic Sea Commission will take place in Sandviken in Region Gävleborg. The General Assembly will discuss and adopt a new vision and mission statement for the organisation.

On 25th May, an Energy and Transport Solutions Study visit will be followed by a meeting with delegations from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The CPMR Baltic Sea Commission General Assembly will be welcomed on 26th May by President Eva LINDBERG and introduced by Mr Jari SAINIO, President of the Baltic Sea Commission and Vice-President of Region Helsinki-Uusimaa. A Baltic Sea in Europe Panel discussion with Mikael Olsson, HA Capacity, Bernd Hemingway, Deputy Director of CBSS and other invited guests will be followed by the reports of the working groups.

On 27th May, a specific conference will be dedicated to the topic of Smart Specialisation in the Baltic Sea Region in cooperation with Region Gävleborg and Policy Area Innovation of the EUSBSR. This will offer the possibility to explore opportunities for collaboration in the Baltic Sea Region related to development and the use of smart specialisation strategies, and to see how these strategies can evolve as an instrument for innovation development on a cross-border and transnational scale.

In a first session, Smart Specialisation Strategies will be discussed under the Macro-Regional Perspective with representatives from DG Regio, Marek PRZEOR, Leader of DG REGIO Smart Growth team, and Niclas FORSLING, EUSBSR, PA Innovation, Nordic Council of Ministers.

A more in-depth view will be pursued in the 2nd session, including parallel workshops on specific issues: Circular economy and Bio-based materials, Digital Agenda of the Baltic Sea Region, Smart Specialisation Strategies and Blue Growth – value chains in the BSR, the challenges facing the States and their public agencies in dealing with smart specialisation, and how to reduce the vulnerability and increase the preparedness of small communities in remote areas facing development or the closing-down of large-scale, resource-based industries.

Markku MARKKULA, President of the CoR and Petra EINARSSON, President of the Sandvik Material Technology Business Area will wrap up the last session which will focus on Smart Specialisation, competiveness and the role of Regions.


Documents and more information

30-31 May, General Assembly of the CPMR Balkan & Black Sea Commission (Istanbul, TR)

On 30th May, the BBSC General Assembly will start with the Working group meetings. The one on Tourism will address the Importance of Networks and Clusters for Sustainable Tourism and the Promotion of Entrepreneurship for Development will be discussed in the Business Cooperation working group. Statutory and Political Bureau sessions will be chaired by Christiana Kalogirou, 1st Vice-President of the CPMR Balkan and Black Sea Commission, Regional Governor of North Aegean.



The day after, Ambassador Volkan Bozkır, Minister for European Affairs and Chief Negotiator, Republic of Turkey, Vasip Şahin, Governor of Istanbul, and İnş. Müh. Şükrü Genç, Mayor of Sariyer, are invited to open the session “Balkan & Black Sea Commission on the move”.

A first debate will address the Policies and Cooperation Programmes in the Balkan & Black Sea area, where several stakeholders are invited to take part, including the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation which is kindly hosting the meetings at its headquarters, the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, representatives from the EU Commission ( DG MARE, DG NEAR, DG GROW), as well as representatives from the Joint Managing Authority of the ENI CBC Black Sea Basin Programme 2014- 2020, the Joint Technical Secretariat (JTS) of Interreg-IPA CBC Bulgaria-Turkey Programme 2014-2020 and a representative from the EUSDR.

A second debate will explore an exchange of views on CPMR Priorities with the wider Black Sea region’s Regional and Local Authorities and Stakeholders and will introduce CPMR’s added value and experience in policy areas on Maritime issues, Territorial Cohesion and Accessibility, Tourism, Environment & Renewable Energy, EU funding opportunities.

More information and registration

2/3 June, General Assembly of the CPMR Atlantic Arc Commission (Pamplona – Navarra, ES)

Further to the kind invitation of the Government of Navarra, the next Annual General Meeting of the Atlantic Arc Commission will be held on Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd June 2016 in Pamplona.

Starting with the AAC Political Bureau and a meeting of the Tourism and Atlantic Culture working group, the annual general meeting will be opened in the presence of Mrs Uxue Barkos Berruezo, President of the Chartered Community of Navarre and Juan José Sota Verdión, Presidency of the Atlantic Arc Commission and Regional Minister for Economy, Finances and Employment -Government of Cantabria.

The New Political Bureau for 2016-2018 will elect the new Region chairing the Atlantic Arc Commission for the two upcoming years. The new Presidency will then present its work programme to all members of the Atlantic Arc Commission.

On 3rd June, the AAC annual meeting will discuss progress on the implementation of the Atlantic Strategy. Mrs Belén Núñez-Lagos Bau, Spanish representative in the institutional “Atlantic Strategy Group” will participate to present the Spanish perspective on the Atlantic Strategy. Mr Ian Shepherd, Acting Head of Unit C1 Atlantic, Outermost Regions and Artic, European Commission, has also been invited to give more insight on the future budget dedicated to the implementation of the Atlantic Action Plan in the EMFF work programme 2016-2017. Member Regions will have the opportunity to exchange views with the national and the EU level.

Other sessions will be dedicated to the question of sustainability of the activities at sea (fisheries, aquaculture, marine renewable energies, etc.) and to Innovation and Blue Technology in the Atlantic.

For more information and registration on the AAC website.