World Cities Programme

World Cities, the follow-up to CETREGIO Programme, is an European Union project managed by the DG REGIO. The project originates in a Preparatory Action of the European Parliament to promote the exchange of experience and best practice between the European Union and third countries around the themes of urban development, urban-rural partnership and urban cross-border cooperation.

The West Midlands has been selected as one of partner regions in the World Cities Programme for 2014-15 and will be working closely with the Guangzhou Development District and the Tianjin Airport Economic Area & Port Free Trade Zone. WMES began delivering a programme of activities in April 2015

Mission to Guangzhou & Tianjin, 25th April – 1st May 2015

A party of five five travelled from the West Midlands to meet with representatives from NDRC, local authorities, companies and further education colleagues in Tianjin and Guangzhou. The party was led by Cllr Philip Atkins, leader of Staffordshire County Council, David Pilsbury, DVC for International Development from Coventry University, John Carr, Business Representative on the Stoke and Staffordshire LEP Board, Mike Murray from the International Development Team at Birmingham City Council and Mark Schneider from WMES.

Joint Forum of European & Chinese Pilot Cities/Regions, Brussels, 23rd June 2015

Philip Atkins and Mark Schneider attended the first Joint Forum of European and Chinese pilot cities and regions in Brussels. On the same day Councillor Philip Atkins, signed a MOU on behalf of the West Midlands, with LI Hongwei, Vice-Chairman, Administrative Committee of Guangzhou Development District. The MOU was signed in the presence of EU Commissioner Corina Creţu and Mr HE Lifeng, Executive Vice-Chairman of NDRC.

EU-China Summit, Brussels, 29th June 2015

Mark Schneider presented at the 10th High-Level Seminar on Regional Policy Cooperation in Brussels, this was a Side Event of the EU-China Summit. Walter Deffaa the Director General for Regional and Urban Policy gave the keynote introduction and he was accompanied by Mr Zou Yong, Deputy Director General of Regional Economy in the NDRC and Mr Lambert Van Nistelrooij, MEP. Mr Deffaa also presented at the EU-China Urbanisation Forum Partnership Forum in the afternoon plenary session on ‘Cooperation, Innovation and Practices’. The plenary sessions had earlier been opened officially by President Juncker and Premier Li Keqiang.