The current President of AER, Dr Hande Öszan Bozatli, was unanimously elected at the AER General Assembly 2013 in Paris. What are her views on AER, its members and its stakeholders?
Q. What vision do you have for the organisation and regions in Europe?
A. The Assembly of European Regions works for a peaceful and prosperous Europe. Our political assembly believes that regions are the optimal institutional actors to build bridges between European/National leaders and the citizens. This link offered by Regions reinforces trust and ensures the flow of ideas enabling peace and prosperity to spread on our continent.
Q. What would you say is AER’s main purpose today and how that has changed since its creation in 1985?
A. AER wants :
- To establish the principle of subsidiarity as the guiding principle underpinning policy making in Europe;
- To promote regional interests vis-à-vis European and national policy-makers
- To embody and reflect the regional dimension in Europe and make it more visible on the European continent
- To ensure that regions remain a driving force for political, economic and social development with a view of accomplishing a multi-layer Europe
Q. What brings so many diverse regions together as a community and active network?
A. AER and its member regions believe in:
- Fairness and solidarity: these two values are intimately intertwined, because they are at the root of mutual respect and acceptance of cultural, linguistic and socio- economic differences. AER advocates this solidarity between all the regions of Europe, while urging fairness as a source of cohesion between member regions and promoting equal opportunities for all ;
- Openness and dialogue: this means that AER is open to all European regions and their elected representatives, men and women alike, from all non-extremist political movements. AER promotes dialogue and dares to confront ideas;
- Boldness and effectiveness: AER seeks to stimulate creativity and encourage political debate, and aims to transform the regions via forward-looking projects. The effectiveness of the methodologies developed and the thoroughness of our analyses of the various projects are the guarantees of our skill;
- Democracy and Transparency: these two values are totally complementary and inseparable. This means that AER will act transparently to focus on defending the interests of all the member regions while respecting democratic principles.