With the negotiations for the 2021 to 2027 EU budgets ongoing, the targets of the event in various policy areas were clear: to showcase their capacity to create growth and jobs and exchange views on planning and implementation of European Union cohesion policy.
The future priorities for the Regional Development and Cohesion policy beyond 2020 as expressed in European Commission policy papers in 2018 are:
- a Smarter Europe, through innovation, digitisation, economic transformation and support to small and medium-sized businesses;
- a Greener, carbon free Europe, implementing the Paris Agreement and investing in energy transition, renewables and the fight against climate change;
- a more Connected Europe, with strategic transport and digital networks;
- a more Social Europe, delivering on the European Pillar of Social Rights and supporting quality employment, education, skills, social inclusion and equal access to healthcare;
- a Europe closer to citizens, by supporting locally led development strategies and sustainable urban development across the EU.