Brussels, 20 January 2009
Europe’s economic recovery package and the future of territorial cohesion policy were among the key issues raised today by the President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER), Michele Sabban, during a working lunch hosted by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
“AER regrets that the regions have not been consulted as real partners in the EU’s response to the economic crisis,” Ms Sabban said at the meeting. “So far, the economic recovery package has been an initiative of the EU Member States rather than a real community response.” She added that the regions can play a key role in communicating the package to citizens and supporting small and medium enterprises in the difficult months ahead.
“As one of AER’s top priorities in the coming period, territorial cohesion policy was another key issue raised during the meeting. Reiterating AER’s position that cohesion policy should concern all the European regions, Ms Sabban said that the policy “must take into account the specificities of regions, be they isolated, mountainous, rural or urban. The cohesion objective should not be restricted to what we call the ‘cohesion policy’ of the EU.”
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