as adopted by the AER General Assembly 19 November 2020
Appellation and Term
Between all regions adhering to the present Statute, there is formed an association named “Assembly of European Regions”. The association is established for an unlimited duration.
Article 1 – Mission and Objectives
1.1 The mission of the Assembly of European Regions is to be the voice of the regions of Europe.
1.2 The objectives of the Assembly of European Regions are:
a) Promoting regional interests in Europe and beyond;
b) Fostering interregional cooperation to promote the exchange of experience and the development of regional policy.
1.3 The Assembly of European Regions embraces globalisation, beyond Europe, and acknowledges the need of diversity, inclusion and a multi-cultural approach for strong regions.
1.4 The Assembly of European Regions’ perspective of regional policy making is grounded in the territories, cultures, histories and lives of the citizens. It works to support and improve political place-based policy making.
1.5 The mission and the objectives are met by:
a) Encouraging the application of the principles of subsidiarity and complementarity between the local, regional, national and European levels;
b) Fostering leadership excellence on all levels of governance;
c) Facilitating mutual learning by the exchange of best practices;
d) Addressing political concerns of a pan-European nature in European and international institutions through lobbying and advocacy;
e) Running its own programmes and projects or participating in such organised by third parties;
f) Supporting efforts and networking of regional youth parliaments, councils and organisations;
g) Supporting the activities of European interregional associations;
h) Cooperating with public, private and non governmental organisations sharing interests with AER.
Article 2 – Structure of AER
The bodies of AER are:
a) The governing bodies: The General Assembly and the Executive Board;
b) The political body: The Bureau for political discussion, debate and decision making as basis for lobbying and advocacy;
c) The thematic bodies: The Working Groups for exchange and dissemination of best practise.
The composition of all AER bodies should respect a geographical and gender balance.
2.2 The working language of AER is English.
2.3 Common practice of political assemblies shall be applied to all AER meetings. Decisions are, in principle and whenever possible, adopted by consensus of opinion. The consensus should be understood as being the absence of any objection formulated and submitted by a member which may constitute an obstacle to the decision in question.
Article 3 – Membership
3.1 The following are eligible as members of AER:
a) As Full members:
European regions, under the condition that they respect the basic fundamental principles of the Council of Europe.
Groups of regions within a state, unless all members of such a group already belong to AER on an individual basis.
b) As Associate members:
European or non-European territorial entities, organizations or associations, including administrative divisions below national or regional level.
The founding organisations of AER, the Interregional Associations of European Regions.
Associate members should respect the basic fundamental principles of the Council of Europe.
c) As Observers, for a limited time (see art. 2 of the procedures):
Any entity wishing to observe AER before joining as a full or associate member.
3.3 The term “Region” covers in principle territorial authorities between the central government and local authorities, with a political representation power as entrusted by an elected assembly.
3.4 Requests for membership must be addressed to the Executive Board and duly signed.
The Executive Board decides to accept new members. The General Assembly ratifies the Board’s decision.
Pending ratification, members who are candidates and have paid their membership fee may participate according to their membership category (full, associates or observers) in the work of AER.
3.4 Any member may withdraw by notifying the AER President of its decision before 1 January of the current year via a letter signed by the head of the regional executive authority, sent by registered post and with signature upon delivery.
Article 4 – Fees
4.1 Membership of AER is dependent upon the payment of an annual fee giving access to
a) The governing bodies, including eligibility to be elected;
b) The Bureau;
c) The Working Groups.
Members pay their fee directly to AER.
Details are fixed in the Procedures.
Article 5 – The General Assembly
5.1 The General Assembly is the highest authority of AER and convenes representatives of all its full members.
Associated members and observers are invited to participate and may address the assembly. However, they don’t have the right to vote.
The General Assembly charges the Executive Board to implement its decisions.
5.2 The General Assembly is convened at least once a year by the Executive Board.
In extraordinary circumstances, the Executive Board may determine that the General Assembly shall be held by virtual means.
The physical or online, in case of virtual General Assembly, presence of two thirds of the full members who have registered in writing 10 days before the General Assembly shall be necessary to constitute the quorum.
5.3 Each Full member of AER, after paying the membership dues, has one vote at the General Assembly.
The vote will be expressed
a) Directly by one of the representatives of the member region present;
b) By online voting in case of virtual General Assembly;
c) By proxy from one absent region to one region present.
5.4 Should a quarter of the full members so request, the Executive Board is bound to convene a General Assembly.
5.5 The General Assembly
a) Approves the accounts of the previous year;
b) Ratifies the budget forecast of the current year;
c) Approves, upon the Executive Board’s proposal, the draft budget for the following year;
d) Adopts the annual reports from the Executive Board, the Bureau and the Working Groups;
e) Ratifies the Executive Board’s decision concerning the admission of new members and decides upon the loss of membership;
f) Ratifies the Procedures;
g) Elects the members of the Executive Board;
h) Ratifies the members of the bureau and their substitutes;
i) Elects the members of the Monitoring and Evaluation Group;
j) Elects the members of the Election Committee
5.6 Minutes shall be taken of the proceedings in the General Assembly. They shall be signed by the President, adopted at the following meeting and should be at the disposal of all members.
Article 6 – The Executive Board
The Executive Board prepares the work and all the decisions of the General Assembly. It is responsible for the management of the AER and charges the Secretary General to implement its decisions. Between assemblies, it is the highest authority of AER.
The EB consists of:
a) The President;
b) The Treasurer;
c) 7-12 Vice Presidents, with assignments defined by the Board;
Invited to the meetings, without having the right to vote, are:
a) The President of the AER Youth Regional Network (YRN);
b) The Eurodyssey President;
c) The President of the AER Summer Academy;
d) A representative of the region hosting the secretariat;
e) The AER Honorary President(s);
f) The chair of the Election Committee;
g) The members of the Monitoring and Evaluation Group.
6.2 The Executive Board
a) Manages the coordination of all AER activities;
b) Establishes or dissolves the Working Groups;
c) May entrust precise mandates, with limited time scales to third persons in order to achieve objectives decided on by the Board;
d) Closes the accounts of the previous year before their approval by the General Assembly.
6.3 By delegation, the Executive Board is authorised to meet and to make decisions in accordance with the association’s statutory objectives or useful to its smooth running.
Decisions made in this way are submitted to the General Assembly.
6.4 The invitation and draft agenda should be sent to members at least two weeks and the working documents at least one week before the meeting.
Decisions of the Executive Board are valid if at least 50 % of the members +1 are present, including participation by means of ICT.
6.5 All information relating to the EB election can be found in procedures art.15.
Article 7 – The Bureau
The Bureau consists of the members of the Executive Board and two representatives per State represented within the AER.
7.1 The Bureau is the primary political voice of AER.
The meetings of the Bureau are open to the public.
7.2 The Bureau
a) Debates issues of a pan-European and global nature emanating from members;
b) Establishes the political base for AER lobbying and advocacy;
c) Invites international, interregional, regional and municipal organisations to take part in the Bureau discussions whenever these deal with matters relevant for AER;
d) Adopts the political priorities of AER and prepares other declarations and decisions which, whenever relevant, are submitted to the Executive Board or the General Assembly.
7.3 Invited to the meetings of the Bureau are
a) The outgoing Presidents of the AER;
b) The Presidents of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) (European Union), the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE) (Council of Europe), the Chamber of Regions of the CLRAE and the Interregional Member Organisations;
c) Members of the AER holding the highest position within the CoR, the CLRAE and its Chamber of Regions;
d) Invited as full members of the Bureau are one representative of regions where AER has an office.
7.4 The Bureau meets at least twice a year. Whenever indicated, appropriate or necessary, the meeting can be combined with another event. In extraordinary circumstances, the Executive Board may determine that the Bureau meeting shall be held by virtual means.
7.5 All information relating to the bureau election can be found in procedures art. 15
Article 8 – The Working Groups
8.1 Proposals for setting up a Working Group can be submitted by any member.
8.2 The Working Groups are open to all members of AER.
8.3 The Working Groups are responsible for
a) Promoting networking and knowledge exchange between AER members on specific issues related to regional development;
b) Identifying and disseminating good practices.
8.4 The Working Groups may prepare, decide and implement initiatives in the framework of their assignments. Whenever relevant and within their budgetary limits, they may:
a) Organise events;
b) Prepare publications;
c) Initiate studies and reports;
d) Represent the Network at external meetings and events.
8.5 Each Working Group is chaired by a Chair, appointed by the Working Group.
8.6 The Chair is responsible for the leadership of the Working Group and liaising with the Vice-President in charge of the Working Group policy area.
Article 9 – The Monitoring and Evaluation Group
Three members, not involved in other governing structures of AER, form the Monitoring and Evaluation Group.
One of the politicians will have a coordinating role.
The group, reporting to the General Assembly, will be responsible for:
a) Monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the mission and objectives of AER, in compliance with the provisions of the Statute and the Procedures;
b) The efficient and sound use of financial and human resources.
The members of the group will be supported by an officer/officers from their region. The group will assess the outcomes of the actions and activities and make strategic recommendations. They will have unrestricted access to all AER documents and meetings.
All information relating to the Monitoring and Evaluation Group election can be found in procedures art. 15.
Article 10 – The Election Committee
10.1 Three to five members constitute the AER Election Committee. Each member must
a) Be nominated by an AER member;
b) Hold a regional political mandate, in accordance with AER procedures 15.2
10.2 One of the members will have a coordinating role.
10.3 Each of the members will be supported by one or more officers from their regions.
10.4 The Executive Board will brief the Election Committee regarding the agenda, the portfolio of the Vice-Presidents and other relevant information regarding the elections at the General Assembly.
10.5 The Monitoring and Evaluation Group will brief the Election Committee about relevant findings regarding the implementation of the mission and objectives of AER. The Election Committee is charged to work in close collaboration with the Monitoring and Evaluation Group.
10.6 The Election Committee will, for the entirety of its mandate, actively inform and encourage members to apply for positions within AER. The Election Committee will inventory and prepare for the elections at the General Assembly by
a) Identifying the competences and, if any, the formal requirements associated with the positions.
b) Identifying the status of the members holding the current positions.
c) Survey suitable candidates among the AER members.
d) Call for nominations in accordance with AER Procedures.
The Election Committee will make proposals of candidates for the elections at the General Assembly; it will:
a) List all nominees from the AER Members.
b) Make a proposal of one candidate for each position.
c) If necessary, the Election Committee may nominate candidates of its own.
All information relating to the committee leadership and elections can be found in procedures art.11 and 15.
Article 11 – The President
11.1 The President prepares the work and all the decisions of the Executive Board.
The President represents the organisation in all external relations.
Notwithstanding the Vice President Treasurer’s financial responsibility, the President remains fully responsible overall.
11.2 The President
a) Chairs the meetings of the AER governing bodies and has the power to make all necessary decisions concerning the implementation of the decisions of the said bodies;
b) Chairs the Bureau;
c) Has the right to take legal action in the association’s name and on its behalf.
The President may delegate such right to a representative, through a duly signed and dated written authorisation form.
11.3 Should the President’s regional mandate be lost, one of the Vice-Presidents shall, after a period of a maximum of six months, act as substitute until the next General Assembly.
All information relating to the President’s election can be found in procedures art. 15.
Article 12 – The Vice-Presidents
12.1 The Vice-Presidents
a) May represent the President;
b) Have assignments as decided by the Executive Board.
All information relating to the Vice Presidents’ election can be found in procedures art. 15.
Article 13 – The Treasurer
13.1 The Vice-President Treasurer is responsible for the administration of finances, in particular the management of assets and the supervision of income and expenditure, and shall report to the Executive Board and the General Assembly.
All information relating to the Vice Presidents’ election can be found in procedures art. 15.
Article 14 – The Secretary General
14.1 The Secretary General is appointed by the Executive Board, and may be dismissed following the same procedure.
14.2 The Secretary General reports to the Executive Board and
a) Is in charge of the Secretariat and is responsible for implementing the decisions of the governing AER bodies.
b) Manages the staff of the Secretariat.
c) Is charged to actively ensure the daily management of the finances, in cooperation with the Vice-President Treasurer.
d) Represents, with the agreement of the President, the AER in all external relations.
e) Submits a quarterly activity report before the Executive Board and an annual report to the General Assembly.
14.3 The Secretary General is entitled to take part in the meetings of all AER bodies, but without having the right to vote.
14.4 The functions of the Secretary General are performed and remunerated within the framework of a contract concluded by the President.
Article 15 – Finance
15.1 The financial year of the AER corresponds to the calendar year. A forecast statement and a closing balance sheet are drawn-up for each financial year.
15.2 The AER meets its financial commitments by means of its assets. The financial resources break down as follows:
a) Membership dues in accordance with Article 3;
b) Grants from public and private institutions;
c) Donations and legacies;
d) Income from its own activities;
e) Income generated by its own assets;
f) All resources authorised by law.
Article 16 – Procedures
Within the framework of the Statute, the Procedures specify general rules of administrative, financial and technical procedure. The text of the Procedures is adopted by the Executive Board and ratified by the following General Assembly.
Article 17 – Amendment of the Statute
This Statute can only be amended by a General Assembly. The agenda of said assembly must expressly mention this item.
Article 18 – Dissolution and Liquidation
18.1 The dissolution of the Assembly of European Regions may only be decided by an Extraordinary General Assembly, defined as more than 2/3 of those present and voting.
18.2 The dissolution of AER or the withdrawal of a member shall not entail restitution of the contributions made by the members.
Article 19 – Legal Base
19.1 The Assembly of European Regions is a non-profit organisation.
19.2 The Assembly of European Regions is based in Strasbourg. It may be transferred elsewhere by proposal of the Executive Board after approval from the General Assembly.
19.3 The Assembly of European Regions is governed by Sections 21 to 79 of the local Civil Code (code civil local alsacien-mosellan) and by this Statute. It is registered at the Registry of Associations at the Strasbourg District Court.
19.4 (Clause conferring jurisdiction) The jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal of Colmar is responsible for any dispute arising from the interpretation or application of this Statute.
19.5 The Assembly of European Regions instructs the President to effect the prescribed formalities of declaration and publication and in particular to register with the Registry of Associations. The President shall be given full powers to this end.