Following a first trip to Spain, last month to meet with AER member and non-member regions, an AER delegation composed of the AER President, Dr. Hande Özsan Bozatli; the President of the AER Commitee on Education, Culture and Youth, Mrs. Sonja A Steen and her director of international office Eirik Fiva and the AER Secretary General, Mr. Mathieu Mori; will meet Presidents, Ministers and other regional representatives from nine northern Italian Regioni in the week of 4th to the 8th of April.
The planned agenda for this tour includes the visits to two AER members (Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige), five non-member regions (Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Marche, Piedmont and Veneto), and two Autonomous Provinces (South Tyrol and Trentino) in order to deepen the existing links between the AER and its members, as well as to introduce the AER to the non-member regions. Presenting our organisation’s new working scheme, sharing the political priorities and the most relevant topics for the regions, and exploring new paths towards cooperation are some of the matters that will be at the heart of the discussions held during these days.
This trip is part of the initiative to strengthen the Southern European representation within our Assembly. Southern Europe has been particularly affected by the economic crisis in previous years making European cooperation, in some cases, less of a priority. With a gradually improving economic situation and the increasing challenges arising in the Mediterranean, it is time for the AER and the Southern European regions to enhance their cooperation channels.
A very similar purpose motivated the trip to Spain in the week of the 11th to the 17th of March, where seven regions were visited by our President and Secretary General.