The AER Spring Committee Plenaries took place from 20 to 22 March 2018 in Arad, Romania.
Below you will find a recap of the event, with updates, presentations, and take aways from the conference.
Day 1 (20 March)
The day started with, on one side, the AER Executive Board meeting, and on the other, a Study Visit of the city of Arad..
Following this we moved on to the AER joint-committee plenary meeting. Members were welcomed by the President of Arad County Council, Iustin Cionca, and Magnus Berntsson, AER President.
AER’s member relations coodinator, Elin Berglie, then presented the AER presentation to members, which explains what AER is, how it works, and how it presents a great added value for its member regions. (This presentation is available here)
Following a presentation of AER’s achievements by Secretary General Mathieu Mori, AER’s Committee Presidents presented awards to AER member regions that have contributed a lot to the AER network in the last months.
- Committee 3 interim President Aleksandra Djankovic, presented an award to Trentino (IT) as a way to say welcome to the Eurodyssey Programme, their active participation will surely prove an asset to our youth mobility network.
- Committee 2 President Mihai Ritivoiu, presented an award to Varazdin (HR) for their great engagement in our project unit and for their participation in the SEED project during 2017 Regions Week in Brussels.
- Committee 1 President Jean-Luc Vanraes presented an award to Korca (AL) for their dedicated work as part of AER’s Monitoring and Evaluation Group, that strives to improve AER’s output and work.
Brian Greenslade, Honorary Vice-President of AER, presented the outputs from the Autumn Bureau Meeting in November 2017. You can find a recap of these outputs here. These outputs translate to AER’s political priorities for the 2018-2019 period.
We got updates on the AER programmes from our members. Esther Estany (Catalonia, ES), President of Eurodyssey, updated members on the changes happening within Eurodyssey, encouraging them to attend the upcoming Eurodyssey Event in april.
Dancus Ioan Doru, Vice President of Maramures county, presented a little more information about the upcoming Summer Academy in his home region in August.
Gloria Vitaly (Nordland, NO) offered a summary of the outcomes from the recent YRN plenaries in Nordland.
Autumn Committee Plenaries
Damir Zobenica (Vojvodina, RS) – talked about the great ideas being thought about for the upcoming Autumn Committee Plenaries and encouraged members to bring more ideas to the discussion! Regional Business Forum is the theme that has been suggested.
Day 2 (21 March)
Committee 3 plenary
Mathieu Mori led the elections for open positions in Committee 3. Congratulations to our new Committee 3 Presidium members!
- Radimir Čačić, Varazdin (HR) was elected as President Committee 3.
- Simon Johnsen, Nordland (NO) was elected as Chair of the Sub-Committee on Education and Training
Actions were then set in across four discussion groups: Youth, Education, Culture and Youth Mental Health. The actions will be published soon.
Committee 1 plenary
Jean-Luc Vanraes (Brussels-Capital, BE), President of Committee 1, led the elections for open positions in Committee 1. Congratulations to our new Committee 1 Presidium members!
- Håkon Noren, Oppland (NO) was elected to the Equal Opportunities Group.
- Katarina Tolgfors, Örebro (SE) was elected to the Equal Opportunities Group.
- Olimpia Neagoe, Dolj (RO) was elected as Chair of the working group on Rural Development.
- Eva Hallström, Värmland (SE) was elected as Chair of the working group on Energy and Climate Change.
Sanja Šifliš (Vojvodina, RS) presented the upcoming event on Biomass in Vojvodina, find out more here.
Martin Tollén (Östergötland, SE) presented the progress being made in the Transport and Mobility working group.
Jean-Luc Vanraes presented the outcomes of the Artificial Intelligence debate that took place in November 2017. Find out more here.
Actions were then set in across four discussion groups: Transport and Mobility, Cohesion, SMEs and Innovation, Energy and Climate Change and Rural Development. The actions will be published soon.
After a welcome by Agneta Granström (Norrbotten, SE), Chair of the AER E-health Network (presentation here), Sandra Evans, from the University of Tübingen presented the Mach 5 project (presentation here).
Diane Whitehouse, from EHTEL, talked about the deployment of integrated care systems (presentation here). Diane engaged with members from Värmland (SE), Trento (IT) and Prahova (RO) who presented the status of integrated care in their regions.
Committee 2 plenary
Mihai Ritivoiu (Timis, RO), President of Committee 2, welcomed members to the committee 2 plenary, and gave a presentation on the Committee’s achievements since the last plenaries in Nancy.
The AER secretariat gave a presentation on the successful projects that have been joined in the field of social inclusion and health. As well as point out the efforts made in advocating for inclusive growth. (See previous presentation)
Committee President Ritivoiu then opened the floor for elections. The two vacant positions remain open:
- One female representative for the Equal Opportunities Group
- Vice President for Inclusion & Social entrepreneurship
Actions were then set in across four discussion groups: Inclusion, Health Innovation, and Equal Access to Health. The actions will be published soon.
Working Group on Transport and Mobility
Martin Tollén (Region Östergötland, SE) moderated this discussion on transport and mobility in European regions.
Sergiu Bilcea, Vice President of the Arad County Council (RO), gave a presentation on a regional example of a transport and mobility project happening in Arad County. (Presentation available here)
Vivian Stribos (EU Lobbyist Eastern Netherlands, Gelderland Brussels Office, NL) then presented a project on the Rhine-Alpine Corridor. (Presentation available here)
Martin Tollén presented the EIP on smart cities & communities, with input from Rutger Schuitemaker (Flevoland, NL) and Diane Whitehouse (EHTEL)
Roger Esteferos (Senior Expert, SE), elaborated on the state aid issue. (Presentation available here)
You can find more information here.
Evening Lounge Meeting on Equal Opportunities
Equal Opportunity Group Member Kenneth Johannesson (Värmland, SE), standing in for Vice-President for Equal Opportunities Andrew Gibson (Hampshire, UK) led an informal political discussion on how relevant this AER group’s work is.
Members then tackled the following questions:
- To what extent is there still a gender pay gap?
- What are the factors determining equality of health across regions?
- How can we work towards equal opportunities in our regions?
Day 3 (22 March)
Breakfast debate:Democracy in practice
Workshop on inclusion
We were fortunate enough to be welcomed by Mrs. Erika Stark, General manager of the General Direction/Division for Social Assistance and Child Protection from Arad County Council. She led the conversation on inclusion (See presentation here)
You can find more information here.
Contributing the work programmes
Are you joining us in Arad? Read how you can participate in the defining of the work programmes here.
Visit the event page here.
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