Olomuc (CZ), 27 August 2004
The 9th annual AER Summer School, which is taking place in Olomouc, Czech Republic, from 22-27 August, brings together 163 representatives of regional authorities from 68 regions and 25 European countries, not only from the new EU but also from its neighbouring countries.
Liese Prokop, President of the AER, stated, “It is particularly significant that we are holding this year’s AER Summer School in one of the EU’s new regions. EU membership has led the regional authorities in the new Member States to undergo a process of adjustment in many areas of their competences, in order to adapt to the rigours of EU legislation. At the same time, it has given them access to many new opportunities, to European Funds and programmes. This AER Summer School provides a practical opportunity for regional representatives from the new Member States to share their experiences with one another and their counterparts in the old Member States”.
‘Interregional Project Management and Lobbying’, the main topic of this 9th edition, will give participants the possibility to improve their project management skills and to discover a range of European programmes designed to support regional development. Participants will also learn how to lobby the European Union institutions in Brussels to ensure that the needs of their regions are taken into account in EU decision-making.
Summer School participants will also have the opportunity to benefit from the advice of a number of prominent speakers, not only from AER member regions, but also from institutions and organisations such as the European Commission, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which are important partners for the AER and the regions in their efforts to work together towards a democratic, stable and prosperous Europe.
The 3rd AER Youth Summer School, which is taking place, as usual, in parallel with the AER Summer School is being attended by 29 young people, between the ages of 18 and 24, from 12 European countries. Nominated by their regional authorities, they represent the next generation of regional politicians and civil servants who can make a difference in regional politics. They will work on the issue of ‘the participation of young people in regional life’, in order to develop new ideas for the increased involvement of young people in decision-making on issues that affect them.
At the end of the programme, participants from both Summer Schools will meet to pool together their conclusions and initiate concrete projects. This meeting will be a unique opportunity for both regional representatives and young people to deal directly with the fundamental issue of youth participation in public life.
Through the AER Summer School and Youth Summer School, the representatives of the regions will have the opportunity to work together to take advantage of the realities of the new Europe for the benefit of all their citizens.
Summer School Organising Committee: Olomouc-CZ, Brussels-Capital-B, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia-I, Istra-HR, Noord-Brabant-NL, Thüringen-D, Vestfold-N, Wallonie-B, Wien-A and Zurich-CH.
For more information: [email protected]