“Regions are the motor of political progress and economic growth in Europe”*
The Economy Group gathers practitioners involved in the implementation of economic development policies in their respective regions. Their aim? To develop permanent bridges of information and exchange of best practices and, through this, to support the economic growth of their territories and to enhance the role of regions to the future success of the European economy.
The Economy Group has been meeting regularly since 1992 under the Presidency of Regione Lombardia until 2008 when the Presidency was handed over to Catalonia.
Meetings are organised once or twice a year on a rotating basis in different cities of the member regions in order to make the members more familiar with the respective territories. The Group opened soon to other regions and counts on the active participation of Cymru–Wales since the year 2000, Flanders since 2005 and, more recently, Québec.
The main inputs to the Group Economy come from the Ministers responsible for the Productive Economy of the respective territories, who held their last summit in Sitges (Catalonia) on 26 January 2009.
From July 2010, the Economy Group has divided its work into three Working Groups:
- Internationalisation, whose main task is the organization of the technical and entrepreneurial parts of the joint 4M&A missions to third countries; the participation in trade fairs, etc.
- Innovation, which includes the Dialogue on Clusters and its outputs, like the Group on Electromobility; the promotion of technology transfer initiatives, etc
- Added Value that covers all aspects not contemplated by the former two working groups such as cooperation with vocational training or exchange of apprenticeships.
In order to benefit from their respective contacts and to establish networks with important partners around the world, the 4 Motors started to implement joint missions in 2002. Since then, the 4 Motors led institutional, technical and economic delegations in the 4 continents, from China to Chile, from the Danube to the United States, from the Mercosur to Morocco, from Russia to India…
In particular, during their mission in 2012, the 4 Motors for Europe and 4 Motors for Mercosur** set up a roadmap for the development of a clean tech programme. This programme aimed to establish economic and technological cooperation in the environmental field, in particular on waste treatment and green energies between the 4 Motors for Europe and the 4 Motors for Mercosur.
Besides, the Economy Group encourages the organisation of common actions, such as networking events, on international sectorial exhibitions / events (ex. Pollutec in Lyon, MEDICA in Düsseldorf, etc.).
Finally, the Economy Group is also responsible for the good development of the Dialogue on Clusters, which has operated independently since 2008.
* “Declaration of Sitges” of the Ministers responsible for the Productive Economy in Baden-Württemberg, Rhône-Alpes, Catalonia, Lombardy, Wales and Flanders (4 Motors for Europe and Associates) – 29th January 2009.
** Institutional network gathering the State of Paraná in Brazil, the Department of Alto Paraná in Paraguay, the Province of Córdoba in Argentina and the Department of Rivera in Uruguay.