Ponta Delgada (P), 24th August 2012
Within this cloud of pessimism that hangs over Europe, the Assembly of European Regions (AER) decided to be bold and propose a topic that some might underestimate : Culture and creative industries. More than 120 politicians, regional officers, experts and members of the Youth Regional Network from across Europe gathered in the Azores to discuss this topic during the 17th Summer School and 11th Youth Summer School.
“Being smart during a crisis means, of course, taking advantage of the crisis to become more intelligent. It is turning the crisis into an opportunity to invent, or rediscover, a lifelong project that we can hope to share with one another and within our territories” stated Michèle Sabban, AER President. “It is a call to put our know-how to work and define what we have yet to learn, to make our potential and our traditions flourish” she concluded.
AER welcomes the European Commission’s new programme “Creative Europe”
AER welcomes this EC initiative: putting culture and the cultural and creative sectors high on the European agenda is a step in the right direction. Indeed, the “Creative Europe” programme proposes a budget of € 1,8 billion for 7 years, which represents a 37% increase compared to current spending levels. In addition, the will to have a simpler and more streamlined architecture in this policy field through the merging of the old Culture programme 2007-2013 with the Media and Media Mundus programmes has to be highlighted.
“I am glad to see that the EC, like us, see culture as an opportunity rather than a burden. I am all in favour of supporting cultural stakeholders and artists who are driven by a passion that they want to share with an audience, whether it’s a few people in a village hall, thousands in a famous museum or millions in movie theatres” underlined Hande Özsan Bozatli, President of Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and International Cooperation
Meanwhile, AER has produced its position paper on “Creative Europe”: ”Our position paper will be put for adoption at the next Committee 3 plenary meeting in 3 weeks’ time in Sundsvall and then presented to our October General Assembly. This week’s exchanges gave us even more arguments for our discussions with the Commission and the European Parliament about defending the role of creative and cultural industries and of culture generally as an economic and social strength of our continent” explained Pascal Goergen, AER Secretary General.
AER recommendations on Creative Europe: AER stresses the need for a separate chapter for the youth policies; AER fights against the gap between the mobility opportunities for higher education students and vocational students; AER calls for allowing regions and organizations such as AER to manage directly EU mobility funds.
The outcomes of the Summer Schools discussions
The engagement of the Azores in AER
“We are very glad to hold for the first time the AER Summer Schools in the Azores! For us, it is also the recognition of our work on youth issues namely Eurodyssey and lately the PYE – Promoting Youth Employment – project” stated Rodrigo Oliveira, Under Secretary for European Affairs and External Cooperation of the Autonomous Region of the Azores (P).
The region of Sörmland (Sweden) will host the next AER Summer Schools 2013.
Members of the Summer Schools Organizing Committee: Azores (P), Bruxelles-Capitale (B), Flevoland (NL), Friuli Venezia Giulia (I), Jönköping (S), Maramures (RO), Olomouc (CZ), Østfold (N), Thurgau (CH), Västerbotten (S), Västra Götaland (S), Wallonie (B), Wien (A), Zürich (CH), and Sörmland (S).
The Assembly of European Regions (AER – aer.eu) is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together more than 250 regions from 35 countries and 16 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.
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