Iasi (RO), 30 November 2007
Today, the last AER Citizens’ Forum of the season made a stop-over in Iasi, Romania. 50 participants from diverse backgrounds: business, academics, NGO’s, students, political representatives… joined the event organised by the Assembly of European Regions (AER) and the County of Iasi.
Participants summed up the first year of Romanian EU membership. The benefits of the European single market and of free movement across Europe are already being felt, despite certain limitations on labour mobility. Yet the benefits of accession are not yet fully perceived by everyone. ‘We as a region feel that we are a part of Europe, but it is also important that citizens feel the same. Events such as the AER Citizens’ Forum give everybody the opportunity to express their conception of European citizenship and how to create unity through diversity in Europe’, stated Mr. George Poede, professor at the Department of Political Sciences, University of Al.I. Cuza Iasi, and moderator of the Forum. ‘Today we witnessed a slight disappointment with the communication between the EU and the citizens. I am confident that with the ideas raised during the AER Citizens’ Forum, the regions can help fill this void,’ Mr. Poede added.
The Forum also gave participants the opportunity to discuss what the citizens can bring to the EU. “This is the spirit of the AER and its member regions: not only to benefit from the EU, but also and mainly to propel Europe towards its future” said Klaus Klipp, AER Secretary General. “Since their entry in the AER in the ’90s*, Romanian regions are very active, developing cooperation projects with the other European regions. Once again, you show us your dynamism today by coming in high numbers!”
Next year, the AER Citizens’ Forum, real breeding grounds for ideas on Europe’s future, will travel to Oppland, Gävleborg, Wielkopolska, Heves, Västra Götaland, Dalarna… One of them may take place in your region! Come along and help build the future of Europe, our future!
* Today, 38 Counties out of 41 are members of the AER: Alba, Arad, Arges, Bacau, Bihor, Bistrita-Nasaud, Botosani, Braila, Brasov, Calarasi, Caras-Severin, Cluj, Constanta, Covasna, Dâmbovita, Dolj, Galati, Gorj, Harghita, Hunedoara, Ialomita, Iasi, Ilfov, Maramures, Mehedinti, Mures, Neamt, Olt, Prahova, Salaj, Satu Mare, Sibiu, Teleorman, Timis, Tulcea, Vâlcea, Vaslui, Vrancea
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