Limerick (IRL), 8 october 2009
An insightful EU survey carried out in 24 regions from 13 countries shows that regions have a crucial role to play in economic recovery. “We need long-term solutions to the economic crisis, and national governments must work closely with regions to maximise economic growth potential,” says Christina Diegelmann, Senior Policy Coordinator “Economy and Regional Development” for the Assembly of European Regions (AER).
The AER survey found that a country’s economic performance can be improved with more influence from its regions at national level, more independence of the regions from the national level, financial competences and resources for the regions, as well as more competences in recreation and culture, infrastructure, education and research, and health care.
“While national recovery plans mainly target large companies and the financial system, regions focus primarily on supporting entrepreneurship, SME’s and innovation capacity. Regional actions can contribute to turning this crisis into an opportunity to strengthen regional economies and safeguard jobs. Working together with all relevant stakeholders, regions are close to businesses and can take appropriate measures. While national support plans mainly target larger mostly international firms, regions focus on regional clusters and support business start-ups and SME’s that make up the important part of Europe’s companies and employers,” says Ms Diegelmann.
Ms. Diegelmann is due to speak in Limerick, at a national Shannon Development conference titled ‘Dynamic Regions – Future Directions in Regional Development’. An expert panel of national and international speakers, leaders in their fields, has been assembled by Shannon Development for their forthcoming conference which will take place on the 6th November at Thomond Park Stadium in Limerick City.
The Conference will be chaired by Broadcaster John Bowman, and addressed by Mary Coughlan TD, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment, and Dr. Vincent Cunnane, Chief Executive, Shannon Development, Ireland’s only regional development company.
“We have gathered an outstanding panel of national and international experts for our Conference and we hope it will pave the way for a wider national debate on the importance of regional action. It will include international case studies from the Assembly of European Regions, London Development Agency and the Basque Region of Spain. We see it as a key opportunity to share and learn, and we have assembled some of the leading experts in the field of regional development to reflect its growing importance on the economic world stage. Our speakers will tackle a number of important topics that will provide the lead in new areas of regional action,” said Dr. Cunnane announcing the conference.