Our Secretary General, Pascal Goergen met Mr Almeida Henriques, Secretary of State for Economy and Regional Development, in Lisbon, in view of the Continental Portugal regions’ membership. Three regional meetings were held shortly thereafter: with Mr Pedro Saraiva, President of the Centro region, Mr Antonio Costa Dieb, President of the Alentejo region and Mr David Santos, President of the Algarve region. These three regions have expressed their intention to join our Assembly. Moreover, AER had a chance to better understand the needs of the Portuguese regions in the context of the current financial crisis. Last but not least, we also met the President of the Territory Institute, Mr Rogério Gomes, with whom AER has signed a memorandum of understanding in November 2011. The discussion led to a fruitful exchange on our collaboration and future activities including our openness towards the academic world.