Skip to content .

Service navigation

Main Navigation


Further information

Link to opens in a new window


Press Releases


Territorial Dialogue conference held in the context of cohesion policy and Lisbon Strategy

The conference “Territorial Dialogue 2008” is taking place today at Brdo pri Kranju. On behalf of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the conference is co-hosted by the Slovenian Government Office for Local Self-Government and Regional Policy, led by Minister Ivan Žagar, PhD. The conference is also attended by the European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Danuta Hübner, and the President of the Committee of the Regions, Luc Van den Brande.

At the press conference on the occasion of the conference Territorial Dialogue 2008, Minister Žagar underlined that in the framework of the Slovenian Presidency Programme, the Slovenian Government Office for Local Self-Government and Regional Policy specified as a priority the events related to the various aspects of cohesion policy, mainly the role of local and regional communities in attaining the Lisbon Strategy objectives. The events are substantively related to the Committee of the Regions work programme for 2008. The Committee of the Regions annually organises an extraordinary bureau meeting in the Member State holding the presidency. In accord with the Slovenian Presidency motto – “Si.nergy for Europe” – Slovenia proposed that on this occasion the conference Territorial Dialogue 2008 be organised, which is already the third conference but the first to be held outside Brussels.

Minister Žagar underlined that by organising the third Territorial Dialogue conference, Slovenia strives to support efforts for effective cooperation among various actors of the EU cohesion policy. “We strive to achieve a stronger synergy between the institutions, Member States and citizens, as well as in the implementation of the individual EU policies,” Minister Žagar said. He continued that Slovenia is one of the Member States which, even though new, already has considerable experience in the cohesion policy field; thus it is needless to repeat that we attribute great importance to it and its smooth implementation. “We therefore strive to do everything in our power to enable cohesion policy and its concrete results to implement best practices and transfer innovative solutions developed in individual regions and cities,” Minister Žagar said.

Minister Žagar also underlined the meaning of the debate on the future of cohesion policy, which is closely related to the new policy guidelines of the Lisbon Strategy. The positive response from regions and local communities as regards their role in the realisation of the Lisbon Strategy objectives is reflected in the development documents for the 2007–2013 financial period, in which the majority of the Member States took into account the role of cohesion policy in achieving the Lisbon objectives. He said that on the basis of the response in the framework of the Committee of the Regions Lisbon Monitoring Platform, cohesion policy, through the Structural Funds, represents the most important support to achieving the objectives. “Structural Funds provide the necessary funding channels and coordination mechanisms which contribute to achieving territorial cohesion and the Lisbon objectives,” Minister Žagar said.

Commissioner Danuta Hübner said, “Slovenia’s investment in innovation over the years 2007–2013 is a strong signal that Member States have grasped the link between European cohesion policy and the Growth and Jobs Agenda. Now we need to deliver, and I have all confidence that Slovenia is on track.”

The Slovenian Presidency strives to strengthen the decentralised modus operandi and to contribute to a structured discussion on the efficiency of the Lisbon Strategy implementation. Minister Žagar said that we expect today’s discussion in the framework of Territorial Dialogue 2008 will touch the numerous development issues initiated by the Lisbon Strategy implementation in individual regions and local communities. “We will thus, together with the Committee of the Regions, ensure the formation of new possibilities for these levels of government in the preparation of various actions in the field of cohesion policy implementation, which, undoubtedly, remains the main support of the Lisbon Strategy,” the Minister averred.

Minister Žagar also said that joint efforts by European institutions to bring the Lisbon Strategy closer to EU citizens at the recent conference “Regions for Economic Change – Sharing Excellence” have strengthened the awareness of development potential at the regional and local level. He said that in the territorial dimension of implementing Lisbon Strategy objectives, Slovenia will aim to initiate the new three-year reform cycle, taking into account all the actors.

Minister Žagar concluded with certainty that the third Territorial Dialogue conference will, on the basis of today’s discussion at Brdo pri Kranju, form important conclusions for further success and development of ideas which arise in regions and local communities, and contribute to job and growth creation. “We expect that the Committee of the Regions will, with further inclusion of the regions in the Lisbon Monitoring Platform in the framework of the Committee of the Regions, enable all stakeholders to realise how to best benefit from the potential of the cohesion policy instruments in support of innovations for growth and jobs,” Minister Žagar said.

Committee of the Regions (CoR) President Luc Van den Brande said Territorial Dialogue is an opportunity for representatives of the CoR and Europe’s cities and regions to demonstrate their commitment and fundamental support to achieving the goals of the European Union’s Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs.

The dialogue, jointly organised with the Slovenian Presidency, focused on a new report produced by the CoR’s Lisbon Monitoring Platform, which will be presented to EU leaders at the spring European Council in Brussels on 13–14 March. The report clearly shows the key role of cities and regions in achieving the goals set by Member States to make Europe more competitive.

Mr Van den Brande, who was elected President of the CoR last month, said: “The CoR is ready to play its role and regularly report to the Council on the implementation of the Strategy. We want to strengthen the involvement of regional and local authorities in Member States’ national economic reform programmes. Further efforts are necessary to reinforce a wider stakeholder involvement and a genuine partnership approach. The CoR is committed to monitoring the extent of stakeholder involvement in the Lisbon Strategy in a multilevel governance environment.”


Accessibility     . Print     .

Date: 07.03.2008