Past Program

May 17 - May 22, 2014

Mind the Gap! Innovating for Regional Cohesion and Smart Growth


One of the main objectives of the European Union is to promote economic, social and territorial cohesion between regions. The reformed EU Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 comes at a pivotal moment. Recent years of austerity have seen rising unemployment and widening inequality, especially in peripheral regions, with youth, women and ethnic minorities worst affected. 

Making over €350 billion available to invest in Europe's regions, cities and the real economy, the reformed Cohesion Policy is the EU's principal investment tool to deliver the Europe 2020 goals: creating growth and jobs, tackling climate change and energy dependence, reducing poverty and social exclusion. Once member states’ national contributions and the leverage effect of financial instruments are taken into account, the impact is likely to be over €500 billion.

Launching a new partnership with the European Commission, with the participation of the OECD, Salzburg Global’s program is timed to help key stakeholders understand the rules and results-oriented focus of the reformed Cohesion Policy and ensure maximum impact for these investments. It will build on our longstanding European program which has featured over 15 sessions devoted to the EU’s development and expansion, grounded in our location at the crossroads of East and West.

The 2014 program will focus on ways in which regional development policy and complementary instruments can enhance competitiveness and effective governance at local, regional and transboundary levels. 

Participants will examine tools for environmentally sustainable innovation, human capital development, creation and financing of SMEs and the transition to a low carbon economy. They will compare practical projects and mechanisms that have delivered successful outcomes for competitiveness and inclusive growth, in and beyond Europe, in order to identify transferable tools and connect stakeholders who are leading cutting-edge work around the world.

The program will be held from May 17 to May 22, 2014 in Salzburg, Austria, with a one day, high-level pre-session meeting on May 17-18, focusing on European competitiveness, the shift to low carbon economies, and the role of sustainable cities. 



Rudiger Ahrend
Head of the Regional Economics and Governance Unit, OECD, Paris
Iain Begg
Professorial Research Fellow, European Institute, London School of Economics LSE, London
Pat Colgan
Chief Executive, Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), Belfast
Bernie Djonoputro
Partner and Executive Director at Deloitte South East Asia, Infrastructure & Capital Projects, Indonesia
Gabriella Fesus
Personal Assistant to the Director General, European Commission
Johannes Hahn
EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Brussels
Ronald Hall
Principal Advisor, DG Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission
Christian Hartmann
Head of Research Group, Technology, Foresight and Planning, Centre for Economic and Innovation Research, Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, Graz
Petrus Cornelis Heijne
Director Corporate Responsibility, TNT Express, the Netherlands
Alexander Kainer
Principal, Roland Berger, Vienna
Rudolf Lichtmannegger
Director, Economic Policy, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber
Madeleine Mahovsky
Deputy Head of Unit, Competence Center Urban and Territorial Development , DG Regio, European Commission, Brussels
Eduarda Marques da Costa
Professor, Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Lisbon, Lisbon
Nahuel Oddone
Specialist, International Trade and Industry Unit, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-ECLAC), Sub regional Headquarters in México
Emilia Paiva
Director and Vice-President , Minas Gerais Government, Belo Horizonte
Wolfgang Petzold
Head of Communications Unit, Committee of the Regions, Brussels
Irene Schulte
Industriellenvereinigung Salzburg, Managing Director Regional Office Salzburg, Austria
Madlen Serban
Director, European Training Foundation, Torino, Italy
Wolfgang Teubner
Regional Director Europe,Managing Director,ICLEI European Secretariat


Program Goals

The session aims to increase awareness and effectiveness of the reformed EU Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 and to build a dynamic constituency for change with leading individuals and institutions across global regions. Four goals will be advanced:

  1. Share results, success stories and failures generated by EU Cohesion Policy to date and by mechanisms and initiatives in other regions;

  2. Engage key target groups and younger stakeholders from EU-28 to focus on objectives, metrics and delivery to realize the potential of the 2014-2020 Cohesion Policy;

  3. Better understand the trans-border and external dimension of the EU Cohesion Policy through knowledge exchange and case studies shared with EU enlargement and neighbourhood countries;

  4. Launch a multi-year platform for dialogue and exchange of best practices between the EU, Member States and other regions confronted with challenges of competitiveness, environmental degradation and widening inequality.

Related Readings

Rural-Urban Partnerships. OECD Rural Policy Reviews

Quality of life in cities. Perception survey in 79 European cities. European Commission

Cities of Tomorrow. European Union Regional Policy

Bianchi, Patrizio. Industrial Policy after the Crisis.2011

Embacher, Hans. Farm Holidays in Austria - Strategy and Contributions towards Sustainability

Kamov, Georgi. Destination Number One. 2013

Innovation-driven Growth in Regions. The Role of Smart Specialisation. OECD

Getting Started with the RIS3 Key. Joanneum Research

Bianchi, P. and Labory, S. Conceptual Relationships and Trends. Ch.13. 2012

Bianchi, P. and Labory, S. Industrial Policy after the Crisis. Policy Studies. Vol. 32 (4). 2011

Bianchi, P. and Labory, S. Structural Transformations in Industry and Filieres. University of Ferrara

Newsletter MOT June-July 2013

Reek, Willem. RIS3 Governance Guide. 2013

Reek, Willem. Inclusive Growth Means Linking the Energy of Every Citizen.OECD.2014

Reek, Willem. The Biology of Complexity. Conscious Development Company

Reek, Willem. Key Enabling Technologies. OECD

Reek, Willem. Human centered development. OECD. 2014

Mocan, Stela. Moldova -Towards Smart Government

Jobs and Prosperity in a European Perspective. Regional Cooperation Council SEE2020 Strategy


WBCSD - Business Solutions for Sustainable World. Urban Infrastructure Inforgraphic

Economic Survey of the European Union 2014. OECD

Economic Survey of the Euro Area 2014. EOCD

Evaluations of the 2007-2013 programming period, European Commission 

Session Photos

View full set on Flickr