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The West Midlands Regional Assembly works on behalf of the West Midlands Leaders Board (formerly the West Midlands Local Government Association) in this area.
Following the strategic review of regional European working and the production of the new regional European strategy, the European Strategy Board (Chair: Cllr Sir Albert Bore) was inaugurated in June 2008. The ESB brings together senior representatives of partners in the Region to provide a single coherent cross sector voice on European and International policy and funding issues of importance to the Region. Specifically ESB will
1. To maximise the opportunities of the Single Market 2. To become a more successful player within the innovation, research and development arena across Europe 3. To respond to the challenges of climate change and environmental protection 4. To engage with the social cohesion dimensions of Europe;
Membership of the ESB can be found here.ESB Terms of Reference can be found here.
The ESB is supported by a Strategic European Officers Group (SEOG) (Terms of Reference), which draws on senior officers of the member bodies, and is chaired by Olwen Dutton, Chief Executive of WMRA/WMLB. This group monitors, coordinates and communicates the delivery of the regional European Strategy, steering the activities of the four working groups that are aligned to the four key priorities identified for the Region:
Priority 1: Engaging with the Single Market The workplan of the Single European Market Group deals with responding to the priorities and challenges presented to West Midlands' businesses through the further development and refinement of the Single European Market and aims to use EU and other programmes to boost exports to other EU members states, to promote the West Midlands as a region for inward investment, to enhance the skills of the workforce and their knowledge of the Single Market and to work with EU business partners for joint cooperation in third country markets beyond Europe. The Group is chaired by Graham Ashmore of UK Trade and Investment. Its full membership can be found here.Priority 2: Engaging with Europe's Research and Innovation AgendaThe workplan of the Research Development and Innovation Group includes discussion and comment on EU policy areas important to the Region (such as green transport), mainstreaming the FP7 agenda in the key economic and innovation initiatives being undertaken in the Region and providing information and financial support to FP7 and CIP applicants. The Group is chaired by Jon Bloomfield of Advantage West Midlands. Details of membership can be found here. Prority 3: Tackling Climate Change and Ensuring Environmental ProtectionThis workplan provides the focus for the work of the European Strategy Environment and Rural Group (ESERG) in the Region and includes supporting applications to EU environmental and rural programmes which support regional and European priorities and targets, contributing to the on-going debate on the Common Agricultural Policy, encouraging study visits and partnership building with European partners on climate change issues, building sustainable networks to share experience with partners and establishing links and encouraging interchange with other European initiatives and programmes such as PURPLE and ERRIN. The Group is chaired by Nic Cole of GOWM. Its full membership can be found here.Priority 4: The Social Cohesion DimensionThis workplan provides the focus for the work of the European Social Cohesion Group and includes ensuring effective policy engagement on the major legislative issues that will have a significant impact on interests within the region such as the Renewed Social Agenda: Opportunities, Access and Solidarity in 21st Century Europe, supporting applications to EU Social Cohesion programmes which support regional and European priorities and targets, contributing to the on-going debate on the Social Agenda and encouraging study visits and partnership building with European partners on Social Cohesion issues. The Group is chaired by Laird Ryan of the West Midlands Regional Assembly. Its full membership can be found here.
Further useful information:Contact details for the Region's MEPsContact details for Committee of the Regions Members
Contact Officers:Esther Knight, Strategic Advisor (tel 07748 775800) Louise Chilton, Regional Support Officer (tel 0121 678 1065).