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The seminar „Business? Culture? Tourism? – take your pick! Brainstorm ideas to boost more growth and jobs”  was held in the Scotland House, Brussels on 9th October. The regional partnership, with the Pomorskie Region as its chair, was jointly organized by the following regions and cities:

The purpose of the discussion, moderated by the councillor of the voivodeship, Jacek Bendykowski, was to gather and discuss various ideas concerning stimulating growth and jobs, which can help Europe recover from the crisis. According to the Europe 2020 Strategy, Europe should move towards an economy that is smart, sustainable and inclusive. The idea was to discuss how the three linked sectors: business development, culture and tourism can help achieving those goals. The debate aimed at raising the awareness of different possibilities and encouraging the participants to share ideas for increasing growth and providing new jobs in the EU regions and cities. Topics tackled during the discussion included the European Capitals of Culture, creative industries, business tourism, and plans for strategic revitalisation.

Mr Özcan Işiklar told the audience about the region Silivri in Turkey, which focuses on the restoration of cultural infrastructure, rural culture and religious tourism. He discussed the issue of demography and emigration among the Turkish people, and presented the possible solutions, including providing new jobs opportunities.

Ms Joanna Cichocka – Gula presented the development of culture in Sopot through investments funded from the European Union, since Sopot is a leader in acquiring funds from the European Union. Thanks to the new infrastructure, the city is organising prestigious events at the international level, such as the World Indoor Championships in Athletics which are to be held in the Ergo Arena in March 2014.                                                                                                          

Dr Todor Chobanov advertised the city of Sofia as the candidate for the European Capital of Culture 2019. He discussed the draft of the Atique Culture and Communication Complex “Serdica”, which is to revitalize the central part of the city,  and the construction of the Complex Centre for the Contemporary Art.

Ms Gracienne Damman presented Dunkirk as the city of modernity and development. Dunkirk, which is the Regional Capital of Culture, deals with the cooperation and development of the cultural institutions through implementing different projects supported by EU funds.

Ms Cristina Nuñez gave an interesting presentation about the NECSTour, which supports the collaboration among the representatives of tourism, tourism associations, universities, and research institutions in order to ensure a strong and effective cooperation in the field of tourism and other related sectors.

Ms Ivana Kolar discussed the Krapina-Zagorje region, which invests in the development of tourism through the new infrastructure, sports facilities, and spas. Investments provide the opportunity to develop small enterprises operating in the hotel industry and catering services. Companies are working together to create the high-quality offers for tourists.

Ms Dorota Skwarek spoke about the cultural development of Lublin. She presented it by talking about a wide variety of cultural events held in the city and by discussing the effective cooperation with the private sector, which resulted in the restoration and rehabilitation of the Lublin’s Old City. The presentation also included the “Zoom of the Nature Project”, implemented in Janów Lubelski, which focuses on supporting local traditions and promoting healthy lifestyle.

Ms Morgane Vandernotte in her presentation discussed the Nord-Pas de Calais region. She stressed the great number of the museums located in the area, and highlighted its cultural potential. She also discussed the ways of improving the region’s current situation by strengthening its cultural attractiveness, increasing physical accessibility for the locals, and renewing the Nord-Pas de Calais’s image.

Seminar programme


Presentations available below:

Mr Maciej Szymanowicz – Policy Officer, European Commission, DG Education and Culture – original presentation

Projects, partnerships and innovative solutions for regional growth: the case of Silivri  – Mr Ozcan ISIKLAR – Mayor, Silivri Municipality (Turkey)

Cultural Infrastructure Development Supported by EU Structural Funds –  Ms Joanna CICHOCKA-GULA – Deputy Mayor, city of Sopot, Pomorskie Region (Poland)

The European Capital of Culture initiative potential: the Sofia Case  – Dr Todor CHOBANOV – Deputy Mayor, City of Sofia (Bulgaria)

The Tourism of Tomorrow: European Regions as Drivers of Sustainable Change – Ms Cristina NUñEZ – Coordinator, European network of regions for sustainable and competitive tourism (NECSTouR)

Tourism at hand – cooperation to success – Ms Ivana KOLAR – General Manager, Krapina-Zagorje County (Croatia)

Culture and nature = business – Ms Dorota SKWAREK – Deputy Director, Lubelskie Region (Poland)

Cultural policy, a strategy of integrated development and inclusive growth – Ms Morgane VANDERNOTTE – Region Nord-Pas de Calais (France)