Senior delegates discussed further actions for the Vanguard Initiative at the highly successful high-level policy forum

Senior delegates discussed further actions for the Vanguard Initiative at the highly successful high-level policy forum

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 09:30 to Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 13:00

Over 100 senior delegates gathered in Scotland to reflect on the progress made by the Vanguard Initiative and to discuss and agree on the actions required at regional, Vanguard and European level to consolidate and build on the Initiative’s early work.

Keynote speakers, John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister for Scotland and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and the Economy and Didier Herbert, Director, Enterprise Competitiveness, Industry and Growth Policy (DG GROW) both highlighted the importance of looking beyond the boundaries of our own regions for solutions that will deliver jobs and growth and confirm Europe’s international competitiveness. Members of the Vanguard Initiative have a role to play in giving investors the confidence they need to choose Europe.

These keynote addresses were followed with an excellent overview of the pilot actions. As well as highlighting the complexity of pioneering an area of EU activity, this session clearly demonstrated the need to boost support for these projects and the continued development of the common methodology at all levels. As with any EU interregional activity, the demonstrable benefits take time to filter through. However, the presentations made by the project leaders provided reassurance that the Vanguard Initiative is well on the way to seeing tangible outcomes.

The discussion sessions offered a rich seam of dialogue, and it was clear that all participants valued – probably above all – the opportunity to share ideas and experiences. A unique benefit of the Vanguard Initiative is its ability to mobilise and bring together people to share knowledge and experience without the need for a formal project setting.

The discussion sessions also provided a wide range of actions which delivered the much-needed detail required to underpin members’ Milan Declaration commitments.

The forum demonstrated the enthusiasm we all share for the Vanguard Initiative and has refreshed our commitment to lead by example in supporting the EU’s growth agenda.

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