The Autumn edition of the twice-annual AER Bureau Meeting took place in Brussels on 5 December 2019, hosted by the Brussels Capital Region.
The Bureau is the primary political voice of AER. It engages in issues of a pan-European and global nature emanating from members and establishes the political base for AER’s advocacy work.
Political Priorities 2020-2025
The Bureau members had a full agenda with the adoption of the AER Political Priorities 2020-2025 up for discussion and debate.
The new political priorities will be put to a vote at the June 2020 AER General Assembly, and if adopted, will be in effect until June 2025.
If you would like to learn more about the Political Priorities adoption process, see our latest article here.
The political priorities can be read in full here.
The Political Priorities were not the only cause to look ahead at this Bureau meeting. A discussion also took place on the Priority Topics for AER Task Forces from 2020.
The following is the status of the Taskforces at present:
|Finished||Ongoing||Soon to Commence||Suggested|
Mobility & Connectivity
One taskforce slot is always held vacant in case a matter of urgent importance arises during the Bureau’s mandate.
Taskforce on Cohesion
Michiel Rijsberman, Chair of the Taskforce on Cohesion, gave an update on the work of the group. He emphasised the successful advocacy work undertaken by an AER Delegation to the European Parliament in October to meet with newly elected MEPs.
The time has now come for a final push towards the European Council and EU Member States. Together with the Cohesion Alliance, which gathers all major networks of local and regional governments, we sent a letter to the European Council President, Mr Charles Michel, on Tuesday 10 November 2019. This letter has also been disseminated to AER members to transfer to their national governments. It is important for all regions to mobilise to safeguard cohesion policy. Check the article to know more about this advocacy action.
Taskforce on Migration
Albert Castellanos Maduell, Chair of the Migration Taskforce, reported on the work carried out since the Bureau adopted its position on Migration, “Towards an Intercultural Europe”, in June 2019. A prime example of this is the newly launched Intercultural Regions Network, co-founded by AER, the Government of Catalonia and the Council of Europe’s Intercultural Cities Network. All regions interested in joining this new initiative are invited to come forward.
Taskforce on Food Security
A discussion was held to finalise the AER Position on Food Security which will form the basis of AER’s advocacy work towards the new European Commission and newly elected MEPs. The position can be read in full here.
In the afternoon, the Bureau was pleased to host two high-level panel debates pertaining to the work of its taskforces on the Sustainable Development Goals and Digitalisation.
Panel Debate: Glocalising the Sustainable Development Goals
With representatives from the European Parliament, EESC, CoR and the United Nations Development Programme, the discussion reflected on the contribution of regional authorities to the implementation, follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda and invite views on how we can more effectively localise its Goals. Read this article to find out more.
Panel Debate on Regions in the Digital Era
Organised by Lower Austria who holds the chairmanship of the Taskforce on Digitalisation, the panel debate formed an opportunity for regions to discuss how to adapt to the digital transformation and make the changes associated with digitalisation work for regions and their citizens. Read more about this subject in this article.