Brussels (BE), 23 March 2015
For its 30th Anniversary, AER launched the “30 Years, 30 Stories” campaign in partnership with New Europe in order to celebrate the achievements of regions since 1985.
Our first guest was Mr Johannes Hahn, former EU Commissioner for Regional Policy who was nominated by Commission president-elect Mr Jean-Claude Juncker as Commissioner responsible for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations in September 2014.
On Friday 20 March 2015, Mr. Hahn faced the cameras in the New Europe Studios as he shared his view on the role of AER and the relevance of its mission. Mr Hahn sees the Assembly of European Regions as the equivalent of “the Council of Europe” for regions, as it covers territories outside of the EU. He underlined that our Assembly is not only “an excellent opportunity and a platform for exchanging and sharing experiences but also for shaping opinions concerning the EU, the whole process and the regions”.
The Commissioner also spoke of the Ukrainian crisis and how the EU’s financial crisis is influencing relations with its neighbours and the accession countries. Although Mr Hahn confirmed Mr Junker’s statement that the EU will not proceed with any further enlargement before the end of the 2019 mandate, he underlined that the negotiations are still underway.“The process is just as important as the result; we have to accompany the candidate countries in their societal and economic development to bring them closer to the EU,” says Mr Hahn, “sustainable implementation and change take time and, therefore, it is justified to speak about the process” he concluded.
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