Brussels (B), 5 June 2012
The public presentation of the 2012 Ommegang festivities was held yesterday in Brussels. The Assembly of European Regions is pleased to inform you that this year it has been chosen to be the guest of honour at this major event.
But what is Ommegang? It is a magnificent event held at the Grand Place in Brussels (B) every year in early July. At first, the Ommegang was a religious procession, but today it is part of the Brussels folklore. It is from 1549 onwards that this grand tradition for the citizens of Brussels has been linked to the name of the Emperor Charles V. The Ommegang was chosen as the major reception event that the city of Brussels organized in honour of Emperor Charles V, when he introduced his son, the future Philippe II, to the regions forming his empire. Emperor of Spain, Netherlands (Belgium and nowadays’ Netherlands), Austria and the kingdom of Naples, Charles V is an outstanding figure of our European history, and his idea of harmoniously bringing together a heterogeneous group of regions is still relevant.
The AER, as the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe, is pursuing this goal. It is therefore natural that we have responded positively to the proposal of the Ommegang’s organisers to have AER as the guest of honour in 2012 and hope to show to the world that Europe’s strength lies in its regions. “With the organisers of Ommegang, we would like on the one hand, to raise awareness of this event in European history within the AER member regions, and on the other hand, allow regions to present themselves in an original way, in the European Capital, Brussels. AER will be there to promote regionalism, to defend the regional dimension, to demonstrate best practises and regional expertise” stated Pascal Goergen, AER Secretary General.
Many events will take place on the 3rd and the 5th of July 2012 in the heart of Brussels, attended by tens of thousands of visitors from around the world. Just as in 1549 when Charles V introduced his son at the Ommegang, we will have the opportunity to present our member regions!
The Assembly of European Regions (AER – aer.eu) is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together more than 250 regions from 35 countries and 16 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.
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