What is the course about?
The new free massive open online course (MOOC) of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) will provide relevant information on present and future EU policies and programmes, as well as practical tools and examples of available funding opportunities at regional and local level.
During the first six weeks of the course (15 January-23 February 2018), participants will focus on one specific theme per week and will evaluate their learning progress via assignments and a weekly quiz. Study time will be about 1.5 hours per week. The course material will remain online for one year, so that after the first six weeks learners can work through the course material in their own pace.
The course will include videos, factsheets, infographics and web-streamed live debates with Q&A from the course participants. Moreover, participants will be able to interact via their learning journals in the course platform.
The course is co-created with several Directorates-General of the European Commission – Regional and Urban Policy; Budget; Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion; Agriculture and Rural development; Eurostat – as well as the European Investment Bank, Interreg Europe and URBACT. The course is free of charge, open to anyone interested in EU and regional and local affairs, and accessible on all devices.
Who is this course for?
This course is for everybody interested in the EU and its regional and local affairs, particularly for officials of regional and local administrations involved in EU affairs. It also targets students, teachers, local journalists and citizens in general.
What do I need to know?
Recommended background: basic knowledge of the European Union
What will I learn?
In this course you will learn about how the EU institutions function and work together, how the EU budget is prepared and how this impacts policies and activities at the regional and local level. Present and upcoming EU programmes and policies will be presented, as well as statistics, practical examples and success stories of concrete EU-funded projects across the continent.
Chapter 1: Regions and cities in the EU
The level of decentralisation varies among EU Member States. Regardless of this, the EU matters to all regions and cities and vice versa. This chapter looks into the different levels of government in the EU and the influence of regions and cities on EU policies. What are the trends in the development of regions and cities' roles in the EU’s political system? What does multilevel governance mean? What are the upcoming challenges for regions and cities and their “constitutional role” in the EU? This chapter will also present available statistics and explain the different uses of Eurostat tools.
With Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the European Committee of the Regions, Prof. Dr. Gabriele Abels, Director of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence PRRIDE, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen
Chapter 2: The EU budget: revenue, expenditure, management and prospects
This chapter will present background and practical knowledge about the EU budget: revenue and expenditure, programme management, EU funding and tenders, financial rules and instruments. Specific tools will be explained, including the MFF, the EU Results database and the EU Financial Transparency System. The 'Did you know?' DG BUDG campaign showing the range of benefits for regions and citizens will also be presented.
With Nadia Calviño, Director-General for Budget, European Commission
Chapter 3: Equality of opportunities, wherever we live – because the EU invests in my region
This chapter will enable you to test your knowledge about the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF): European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Cohesion and Solidarity Funds, European Social Fund (ESF), European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). It will present the results of regional, social, rural and maritime investment in your region/city thanks to projects co-funded by the EU (2007-2013), and will enable you to search for a concrete project in your own region/city. Possible changes and future scenarios in your region/city with current investment (2014-2020) will also be presented.
With Erwin Siweris, Interreg Europe Director, Dana Spinant, Director for Budget and General Affairs, DG REGIO, Lewis Dijkstra, Deputy Head of the Economic Analysis Unit, DG REGIO, Marianna Hristeva, Head of Unit for Evaluation in DG REGIO
Chapter 4: The social dimension of the EU funding
This chapter will provide an overview of the different social funds of the EU and their concrete application at regional and local level: Roma integration, European Social Fund, Employment and Social Innovation programme (EaSI), Erasmus+ and European Employment Services (EURES) network supporting vulnerable groups. It will also include a video case study on Social housing and educational projects across Europe.
With Loris Di Pietrantonio, Head of Unit, DG EMPL, Resa Koleva-Demonty, Policy Officer, DG EMPL, Marie Anne Paraskevas, Policy Officer, DG EMPL, Bistra Valchanova, Team Leader, DG EMPL, and Lidija Globokar, Communications Manager, DG EMPL.
Chapter 5: Stimulating the local and regional economy: financing and advice for investment in regions and cities
This chapter will present the main advisory services and financing solutions that the EU, mainly through the European Investment Bank, can offer to stimulate economic growth in cities and regions, both for public and private investment: advisory services for innovative projects connected to the urban agenda, disaster risk management and post-disaster recovery, infrastructure, SMEs and microfinance. Key information about the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and innovative city projects connected to the Urban Agenda will also be provided.
With Miia Itänen, Communication Officer, Interreg Europe, Helmut Kraemer-Eis, Chief Economist, EIF and Nina Van Doren, SME policy and business development, EIB
Chapter 6: The future of Europe: options and debates
Live debate: Thursday 22 February, 2018 (14h-15h), European Committee of the Regions (JDE 70) and online
In this chapter, participants will learn about current and future issues related to the future of the European Union, and more particularly the EU budget. Towards the current debate about the 'future of Europe', EU officials, local politicians and practitioners will debate the most likely development for the EU's institutional system and the role of regions and cities. The future of EU finances, the post 2020 new Multiannual Financial Framework, and the effects of Brexit on the EU will be discussed.
With Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the European Committee of the Regions, and Iskra Mihaylova, Member of the European Parliament
Administrator, Communication directorate, European Committee of the Regions
Wolfgang Petzold is deputy director for communications at the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) in Brussels, for which he works since 2008. Before that, he was an official for ten years in different Directorates-General of the European Commission, and for another ten years in regional ministries in Bremen on EU affairs. Wolfgang Petzold holds a degree in sociology, is part-time lecturer for European Studies at the University for Applied Sciences in Bremen and the University of Osnabrück and publishes occasionally in journals and books in particular on EU cohesion policy.
Åsa Önnerfors is editor and project coordinator for the Eurostat regional yearbook and she is also working with online data visualisation tools for regions and cities at Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union. She holds a M.A. in Library and Information Science and a B.A. in Literature, History of Ideas and Sciences, Swedish and Gender Studies from Lund University, Sweden.
Interests: statistical literacy, e-learning, graphical design and using social media for promoting new products and services.
Directorate General for Budget
An economist by education with a passion for storytelling with number. After a Tempus scholarship in Aarhus, Denmark and an Erasmus semester in Germany, she graduated from the University of Pecs, Hungary. She has been working in Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union for more than 10 years in the domain of regional and city statistics. Since 2011 she has been the co-editor of the Eurostat regional yearbook. She has played an active role in the International Association of Official Statisticians in the past years.
Oliver Müller works as a Statistical Officer in the Eurostat unit "Regional Statistics and Geographical Information". He is responsible for managing the NUTS classification, and engaged in numerous other projects in the area of European regional statistics.
He works in Eurostat since 2015 when he moved there from the European Court of Auditors, where he was involved as auditor and team leader in audits in the areas of research, transport, energy and cohesion.
Oliver holds diplomas in Business Administration and Public Administration.