Strasbourg, Alsace (FR), 19 December 2013
The President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER), Dr Hande Özsan Bozatli, continues her trip around French regions, accompanied by the Vice-President Magnus Berntsson, and the Secretary General Pascal Goergen. After Strasbourg-Alsace and Lyon-Rhône-Alpes, her third stage was Montpellier, where she met today with the President of the Languedoc-Roussillon Region, Christian Bouruquin. This meeting was followed by a working session chaired by Jean-Claude Gayssot, Vice-President of Languedoc-Roussillon and AER’s Vice-President, together with Claude Tremouille, Vice-President of the Limousin Region.
The very essence of AER is to serve its members and to listen to their needs. Thus, in 2013 AER has fought against the European Commission’s new guidelines on State aid for regional airports, an issue dear to many French regions for which these airports represent a vital economic lifeline.
Another proof of AER taking root within French regions is the [email protected] network, which offers a methodology and innovating good practices transfer tools. This unique programme which was set up in 2008 by the Limousin Region, moved under the umbrella of AER, in order to spread it throughout all its member regions across Europe. AER and Limousin are working together to transform [email protected] into a key tool for regional development. Created in 1985, the Eurodyssey programme for the mobility of young professionals accross Europe is another example of the involvement of the French regions.
AER will also closely associate the French regions to its survey on the implementation of the principle of partnership in the framework of cohesion policy, a key policy for territorial development.
French regions and AER have a long shared history. Indeed, the foundation of this organisation in 1985 has been driven by French politician Edgar Faure. AER headquarters were very naturally set in Strasbourg, capital of Alsace, whose European role is no longer questioned. André Reichardt, first Vice-President of Alsace Region is also a member of the AER Executive Board.
These meetings between French regions and AER aim at strengthening the fruitful collaboration existing between them. Other meetings are planned for 2014.
The Assembly of European Regions (AER – aer.eu) is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together more than 230 regions from 35 countries and 15 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.
For more information: [email protected]