Ms Monica Carlsson, Norrbotten (SE), addresses AER members for the last time in her capacity as VP for Equal Opportunities & Inclusion. She has been active in the organization for 10 years and highlights AERs crucial role for bringing people together to learn and share experiences and act for regional development. She also stresses AERs capacity to act as a peace project building fruitful and long-standing relations.
The activities and actions of the past year have focused on gender equality and Roma inclusion. Both remain high on the political agenda and need to be pursued in the future. One lesson learnt is that a successful inclusion of the Roma community is only possible by including the Roma population and their representatives in the discussions and policy-making.
Strengthening human rights and social inclusion has become even more relevant during the recent months of increased migration flow. Free secure movement and the right to asylum is the foundation to equal opportunities across Europe and must be guaranteed. The next major challenge in Europe is to prevent discrimination and segregation between people. Successful integration and inclusion of migrants is crucial and will strengthen communities, socially and economically. Ms Carlsson adds that “AER regions should do more together to revitalize democracy, prevent segregation and create equal opportunities in the future” She concludes her intervention by wishing the organization “best of luck and joy for the future”.
Ms Ana Tomanova Makanova from Vojvodina (RS) has just been elected to take over the portfolio of Equal Opportunities and Inclusion and to continue in the tracks set out by her predecessor.