North Aegean Region

Φωτογραφία“The North Aegean Region is facing enormous challenges due to the refugee crisis and special care should be provided for the recovery of the economy.”

This was the main conclusion of the event which was successfully held by the North Aegean Region in the framework of the European Business Summit in Brussels titled “Migration and Local Economies: Actions to Move Forward”. Mr. Andor Urmos, political analyst in DG REGIO, Mrs. Agathi Pafili, senior regulatory policy advisor for European Fund and Asset Management Association and Mr. Nikos Kostopoulos, advisor on international affairs in the North Aegean Region participated in the event as guest speakers. The discussion was moderated by Mr. Peter Kramer, editor-in-chief of the European Business Review magazine and president of the Press Club of Brussels.
Mr. Urmos focused on the importance of redesigning the actions envisaged in the National Programmes of the Structural Funds (NSRF) and the need for immediate absorption of the money available from the Migration and Asylum Funds by the Member States. He also noted that in view of the ongoing assessment of all the European programmes for 2017, more targeted actions concerning the migration issue can be designed which could be strengthened further by the European budget.
Speaking of the potential partnerships between the public and private sector, Mrs. Pafili noted that private investors see Greece as a great investment opportunity and they are not discouraged by the refugee issue; they are concerned, however, about the constant changes in the institutional framework, especially in taxation. Furthermore, she highlighted the need for Greek bodies to become more extroverted, giving priority to direct contacts with investors and presenting them with mature projects and proposals for funding.
Finally, Mr. Kostopoulos described the situation in the islands of the North Aegean Region during the past year and on behalf of the Region stressed the need to immediately find means to support the local economy which has received a doubled blow by both the economic crisis and the refugee issue. He underlined the high rates of unemployment, particularly among young people, which should be addressed directly so that afterwards solutions for the integration of immigrants can be found.
The Entrepreneurship Summit (European Business Summit-EBS) was organized this year for the 15th consecutive year and constitutes a meeting point for business leaders and decision makers, where entrepreneurship and policy shape the future.
The Summit was attended by 2,400 executives from 60 countries. The opening of the Summit was declared by the President of the European Council, Mr. Donald Tusk, and the ending by the President of the European Commission, Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker.

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