Nearly 150 regional representatives charged with culture from twenty odd countries are expected, at the invitation of Mr Claude Ruey, State Councillor for the Canton of Vaud (CH) and AER VicePresident, on 25th and 26th October 2000 in Nyon at a Conference organised by the Assembly of European Regions on the theme of: “The Responsibilities and Competences of the Regions in the field of culture in the Europe of tomorrow”.
The aim of this Conference is to analyse the impact of the introduction of qualified majority voting on Regional autonomy and to a adopt a joint position for the Regions of Europe in view of the upcoming Intergovernmental Conference (IGC). The current system of unanimous voting (Art.151, EC Treaty) encourages the application of the highly valued notion of subsidiarity in the Regions of Europe due to the action of EU institutions being limited to the support of the independent cultural policies of the member States, whilst respecting the national and regional diversity of these States. A change in this system could go against the principle of respecting national identity (Art. 3, EC Treaty) and the regional identities which create it. It could also leave the door open to the globalisation of cultural policies and to the centralisation of European decision-making at the expense of regional authorities in particular. It is therefore of primordial importance that regional decision-makers and actors in the field of culture express themselves on the role of the Regions in the drawing up of cultural policies in Europe in order to be able to influence future European perspectives.
The Conference also aims to evaluate the impact of EU cultural programmes on cultural policies at regional level. It will also be the occasion to present the results of a survey undertaken by the AER on the cultural initiatives of the Regions and interregional cooperation programmes.
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