The Assembly of European Regions (AER) today launched the AER Training Academy. Regions across Europe (both within the EU and beyond) deal with similar matters, which are relevant to their citizens; these include economic development, infrastructure, tourism, energy, transport, social affairs, public health, culture, education and youth policies. Whilst these policy areas are taught in a general manner at various institutions, they are never dealt with from a specific regional perspective. Regional representatives are also keen to learn how to further, to internationalise or to Europeanise their administrations.
The AER Training Academy will be the first truly Europe-wide further education programme targeted specifically at regional authorities. The Training Academy will link together public administration institutes across Europe to offer training to regional civil servants and politicians in all aspects of regional public administration. It will cover a diverse range of skills necessary for delivering effective regional governance, including European policies and funding programmes, financial and human resource management and sector-specific skills, such as transport, environment and emergency planning.
In the first phase of this initiative, the AER is providing its members with training in European decision-making and its relevance for the regions. 25 representatives of AER member regions are learning how to improve their chance of success in influencing European policy and accessing funding for their regions. Training is provided by the AER members Baden-Württemberg, Brussels Capital, Friuli Venezia Giulia (I), Ile de France (F), Salzburg (A), the Region of Valencia (E) and the South West UK Brussels office.
The training event, which is being attended by officers from the regions as well as their Brussels representatives, focuses on 3 specific areas (i) EU decision-making, (ii) Lobbying skills for regions and (iii) EU funding. It provides participants with an understanding of the workings of the European Union and equips them to maximise the benefits that their region can gain from the European Union.
‘Today’s seminar was the first step in the development of this initiative, which will ensure that the best training and expertise offered by individual regions to their civil servants and politicians is open to all regions across Europe’, said Klaus Klipp, AER Secretary General. ‘ For the first time, people from regional administrations will have the opportunity to undertake a range of training courses offered by other regions across Europe, and to receive accreditation that is recognised Europe-wide. Not only will this help to improve the quality of regional governance across Europe, it will also help mobility and open up opportunities for people to work in administrations in other countries.’
The next seminar of the AER Training Academy will take place in December 2007 in Brussels.
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