Paris, Île de France (F), 16 May 2013
The Assembly of European (AER) has gathered today in Paris 250 European, national and regional decision makers as well as representatives from the business and banking sector, in the presence of Janusz Lewandowski, European Commissioner for financial programming and Budget, Jean-Paul Huchon, President of the Ile-de-France Regional Council (F) and Laurent FABIUS, French Minister for Foreign Affairs.
AER President Michèle Sabban’s message : “Confronted with the crisis, which is affecting Europe, regions must take their place as a true driving force, bringing up proposals. Their current difficulties should not prevent them from fully exploiting their strengths and potential. We have to keep in mind that the majority of the European laws are implemented at local and regional level and the budget for regional policies represents the European Union second budgetary position (35% of the EU budget). That is why we have made today 10 firm recommendations in order to initiate new public policies and mobilise their territories. We just gave out personally our recommendations to Commissioner Lewandowski and Minister Fabius, and the AER will now bring this message and commitments to the EU Institutions as well as to all member States!”.
1. Future-oriented sectors, a key for the regional economic revival
- Set up a region-by-region diagnosis and identify the potentials to develop in every future-oriented sector: green economy, e-health, the new silver economy and the creative, cultural and tourist industries. With this purpose, AER is providing regions with its regional peer review methodology;
- Place itself at the heart of the implementation of European solutions, using instruments such as the smart specialisation strategy or new instruments of the 2020 strategy in order to boost their tangible and effective enforcement;
- Support SMEs in their international development by providing them with a considerable network and relevant knowledge of European financial assistance and programs assigned to them.
2. Moving towards the youth: European mobility and future jobs
- Multiply the number of the AER Eurodyssée program recipients. Eurodyssée is a pioneer program for professional mobility, for young graduate job seekers;
- Develop special jobs destined for young professionals in the future-oriented sectors in line with regional economic strategies.
3. Release the creative potential of our regions, including the potential of entrepreneurship
- Simplify the administrative steps for setting up a company and assist new enterprises throughout the business start-up process;
- Stimulate entrepreneurship not only in schools but also in unemployment centres;
- Develop micro-credits.
4. Assure a more sustainable financing for our local and regional economy:
- Develop new banking tools in partnership with regions in order to help them to adapt to their needs
- Assist enterprises with the help of European Union financial tools and its structural funds;
- Support solidarity and social economy.
5. Give every one a chance: the regions as engines of inclusion:
- The regions must implement in their area of influence equality measures between women and men;
- Anti-discrimination campaigns;
- Work in networks with social partners and chambers of commerce to encourage the access to the labour market for the most discriminated parts of society, such as migrants, long-term unemployed or low-skilled young people.
6. Regaining the Citizens’ Trust:
- Have an exemplary administration and behaviour on regional level;
- Maintain and reinforce the equalisation and regional solidarity systems among states;
- Promote an European regional policy which benefits everyone.
7. Restore Europe’ image in the eyes of its citizens
- Make the general public known the tangible and positive impact of EU actions (programs destined to the citizens, structural funds…) and AER actions (interregional cooperation, good practices exchanges…), through information events and campaigns, such as the citizen forums and the summer universities.
8. Making partnership and multilevel governance a reality:
- Make regions become a privileged European Union partner;
- Promote a regional governing guideline, allowing regions and local communities in general, to directly manage their development policies.
9. Acting internationally:
- The AER is a network model of regions for all the five continents. It must accompany the implementation of sister organisations in the whole world to enable exchanges about global issues; fight against climate change and economic cooperation…;
- “Think globally, act locally”: a world regions’ summit will be prepared in 2014.
10. Put the AER into the heart of European regional policies’ harmonisation and coordination
- Strengthen the AER programs, specially the Rur@ct methodology, widely acclaimed in its origins on rural subjects, which could be used by regions from now on to transfer their policies and innovation projects;
- Build together the united regions of Europe.
The Assembly of European Regions (AER – aer.eu) is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together 250 regions from 35 countries and 16 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.
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