The General Assembly is the highest authority of AER and convenes representatives of all its full members at least once a year. The General Assembly adopts among other things, the annual reports of the Thematic Committees.
This report is the compilation of actions
Activities are organised in 3 categories:
- Good practice sharing
- Advocacy/ Lobbying
The AER Action plan, which brings together all the activities carried out within AER, is constantly updated.
Together for Cohesion: let’s rEUnite! project: ongoing
This project is funded by DG REGIO. It will:
- raise awareness on the importance of programmes, projects and services funded by Cohesion Policy funds
- encourage the participation of citizens and stakeholders to ensure they are active players in the dialogue on cohesion policy.
The project officially started on 1st of April 2019 and will last for 12 months. The following regions, which have sent a letter of support for this project will be involved in different actions funded by the project to engage citizens and communicate about Cohesion Policy in their territories:
Trento (IT), Alba (RO), Timis (RO), Catalonia (ES), Varazdin (HR) and potentially Csongrad (HU).
All AER members are invited to share examples of communication campaigns on Cohesion Policy and to participate in the launching event of the project on 5 June 2019 in Larnaka on the occasion of the AER General Assembly.
Silver Economy Awards (SEED): finished
The Silver Economy Awards aimed to
ARLEM project – Capacity building for an integrated and sustainable urban development: canceled
This is a joint project of the Committee of the Regions regional and local authorities focused on the Mediterranean. In this context, AER answered to the call of ARLEM – Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly in order to provide technical expertise and political support. AER expressed its interest to
REFIT Project – New regulative frameworks to foster innovation in the transport sector: not accepted
The REFIT project, under the Horizon 2020 Programme, will improve the regulatory framework to make it consistent with the development of new forms of mobility, including shared used mobility, having in mind
Event: EU funding for Croatian & Albanian regions: finished
The event on EU funding for Croatian regions, hosted by Varaždin (HR) and Committee 3 President Radimir Čačić, and the event on EU funding for Albanian regions,
hosted by Korcë (AL) and MEG member Ana Verushi brought together about
70 participants, both members and non members of AER to:
-hear about AER’s activities
-learn more on AER services for projects and services
-obtain information on the areas of cooperation with EU
-get a relevant update on the current and forthcoming EU funding opportunities
-become aware of the successful experiences of project applicants
Good Practice Sharing
Breakfast seminar “The Sustainable Development Goals and regional growth – Is it possible?” finished
On 15 May 2019, AER and Oppland (NO) co-organised a seminar entitled “The Sustainable Development Goals and regional growth – Is it possible?“ in Brussels on integrated regional policymaking with the OECD and regional
The Sustainable Development Goals as a policy framework: ongoing
- The Working Group on Energy and Climate Change
organiseda workshop on using the Sustainable Development Goals as a policy framework on September 26th in Novi Sad, Vojvodina (RS). Many regions are very active in this space. Oppland (NO), Värmland (SE) and the UNDP in Belgrade provided case studies.
- On the occasion of the Joint Plenary session in Örebro (SE),
the the roleof regions with respect to the Sustainable Development Goals were discussed by Ida Texell, Member of the Swedish delegation Agenda 2030
- The Working Group on Energy and Climate Change
organiseda workshop on ambitious regional planning with views to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals on March 27th in Örebro (SE)
Using the SDGs to communicate AER activities: ongoing
Oppland suggested that as many of the AER activities are
Supporting members to use the TAIEX-Environmental Implementation Review: ongoing
- The AER Secretariat disseminated information about the TAIEX-EIR peer to peer learning
programme andsupporting members to use this programmeto gain or provide knowledge on environmental policies on topics as diverse as air quality, waste management, water management, the circular economy. This programmewhich is relatively easy and quick to access is a good complement to activities carried out within AER and an opportunity to accesssupport from the Commission to carry out exchanges with other regions.
- The TAIEX-EIR
programmewas presented at the Autumn plenaries in the workshop of the AER Working group on rural development.
- The AER Project Unit will also
organisea webinar in May or June 2019 to help members use the programme.
- The region of Gelderland is
organisinga TAIEX-EIR workshop on ecosystem services, which is open (and financed by the European Commission) on 4 – 5 July 2019
Workshop on Life Cycle Approaches to Regional Sustainable Development: finished
Following the September 2017 workshop on life cycle approaches for renewable energy, circular economy and regional development, members of the working group on energy and climate change were
Study visit on the energy transition: finished
The main focus of the study
-observed Gelders’ Energy agreement working process
-met with Gelders’ Energy agreement regional partners
-carried out visits to observe regional results
-participated in a serious game on energy and the diverging interests of stakeholders to exchange about challenges.
Open data and blockchain in transports, Working group meeting: finished
The AER working group on Transports and Mobility, which is chaired by Martin Tollén, member of the Transport and Urban Planning Committee of Östergötland (SE), met on 28 March 2019, on the occasion of the Spring Committee Plenaries in Örebro.
Members discussed the following topics:
New mobility services: ongoing
Good practice exchange on electric cars (production of batteries)
Seminar “Food for
thought action”: finished
AER organised a seminar on the topic of food and innovation on the occasion of the Örebro Spring Plenaries on 27 March 2019. Speakers shared examples from the regions and showed how central food and innovation is to regional development.
Food: short supply chains & quality food: ongoing
The Working Group on rural development
Study visit on food production: canceled
The idea was to focus the study visit on the approach to food production in order to see how
Youth entrepeneurship: ongoing
Members expressed the wish to develop youth entrepreneurship actions in link with Committee 3. EMAX, a Swedish organisation, which organises innovation camps presented their work on the occasion of the Autumn Committee 3 plenary meeting. They also organise a Breakfast Debate on youth entrepreneurship on the occasion of the Spring 2019 plenary meetings in Örebro (SE).
International Migrants Day: Promoting Diversity in Regions: finished
The three AER committees and the AER Task Force on Migration worked closely together to develop messaging ahead of the International Migrants Day: Promoting Diversity in Regions event in Barcelona on Tuesday 18 December 2018.
Participants shared their experiences and good practices in diversity management at
Meeting of the Working Group for Equal Opportunities: finished
The AER Group on Equal opportunities has regular phone meetings
Spring Plenary meeting Committee for Economy and Regional Development: finished
Committee 1 gathered on the occasion of the Spring Committee Plenaries in Örebro (SE) to assess progress, define their 2019-2020 work
- Committee President: Kenneth Backgård, Norrbotten (SE)
- Vice-President for Economic Development and Mobility: Michiel Scheffer, Gelderland (NL)
- Chair of the Working Group on Investment, Business & SMEs: Maricel Popa, Iași (RO)
Autumn Plenary meeting Committee for Economy and Regional Development: finished
The 2018 Autumn Committee Plenaries were hosted by Vojvodina in Serbia from 25 – 27 September 2018. A detailed recap of all the meetings that took place is available here. The Committee on Economy and Regional Development members decided that the Task Force on Cohesion Policy, which for
Sustainable Urban Mobility, Working group meeting: finished
The Working Group on Transports and Mobility decided in Spring 2018 to work on sustainable urban mobility. At the Autumn Committees Plenary meetings, Miroslav Tadic, UNDP Climate Change Portfolio Manager shared the experience of UNDP in Serbia.
Waste management in rural areas, Working Group on Rural development meeting: finished
The Working Group on rural development organised a workshop on waste management in rural areas on September 27th in Novi Sad, Vojvodina (RS). Svetlana Marusic presented the situation in Vojvodina (RS) and Olimpia Neagoe, Chair of the Working Group, presented a project which is being implemented in Dolj (RO) and which is substantially supported by EU funding. Sustainable Waste Management involves both considerable investments in infrastructure and a lot of work on behavioural changes.
Webinar on New Mobilities: canceled
The Working Group on Transports & Mobility will organise a webinar on New Mobilities for all AER members. Date & topic tbc.
International event on Biomass: canceled
International Business Summit: finished
The Regional Business Forum co-organised by AER and Vojvodina gathered in one place Regional chambers of commerce and Regional agencies in charge of investments, support for SME and promotion of business and commerce from wider Europe. It
Panel discussion on Open data for regional development: finished
On the occasion of the Autumn plenaries in Vojvodina, the panel discussion “Open data for regional development: governance, start-ups and innovation” took place.
The discussion focused on how public institutions collect
Mutual learning event on the Sharing Economy: finished
Each year Brussels Capital proposes a mutual learning event on a current and transversal topic. On December 4th 2018, Brussels Capital organised a mutual learning event on the sharing Economy together with Catalonia, in Brussels, Brussels Capital Region (BE). This event organised upon the invitation of Committee 1 President Jean Luc Vanraes, aimed to gather experiences from all three AER Committees and regions were welcome to share inputs and regional examples.
The event brought together policymakers, entrepreneurs, academics and representatives of the third sector for vivid exchanges. A follow up article with updates on what happened in Brussels was published.
Explore collaboration opportunities on European certification initiative for SMEs
An innovative European certification initiative for regional small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) could represent leverage for growth and improved cross-border economic relations.
It is in this context that
Mobility: engagement in the EIP-SCC: ongoing
The AER Working Group on Transports and Mobility is involved in the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities. It shares regular updates on the work of the EIP-SCC with members
Cohesion Policy Activities: ongoing
Members agreed in September 2018 that the Task Force on Cohesion will
now be under the responsibility of the Bureau, which is also in charge
of the other Task Forces. Joint actions include:
– Convene joint advocacy: Bureau Members adopted an updated position on the European Commission legislative proposals for the future EU cohesion policy, setting out the specific changes European regions propose to make to the new framework.
– Advocate towards the European Union and Member States
– Work in alliance with other relevant stakeholders and European associations
Flevoland (NL) is coordinating the implementation of the action and the cohesion policy task force help implement the action.
Financing climate action: ongoing
AER works alongside R20, Blue Orchard and Leonardo Di Caprio Foundation to set up a 350 million $ Subnational Climate Fund to
AER was present at this year’s UN climate meeting, which took place in Katowice, Poland. The highlight of AER’s involvement was when AER President Magnus Berntsson spoke at the high-level segment 12 December on behalf of all the regions and municipalities of the world.
AER at the OECD Roundtable on Cities and Regions for the SDGs: finished
Eva Hallström from Värmland, chairing the AER working group on energy and climate change, represented AER while speaking at the 1st OECD Roundtable on Cities and Regions for the SDGs, which took place at the OECD Headquarters in Paris.
The Roundtable brought together cities, regions, national governments, international organisations, private sector and other key stakeholders to identify trends and challenges in the localisation of the SDGs, including the experiences and key findings from the pilots of the programme “A Territorial Approach to the SDGs”.
Joint initiatives for advocacy
Member regions can decide to initiate joint actions and find partners among AER members. Regions can get support from the Secretariat to connect with other regions, get an overview of existing legal framework and identify relevant actions, target institutions. The AER Secretariat will also organise Breakfast Briefings to help regions organise their advocacy activities.
AER Bureau Task Forces
The 2018 Spring Bureau established the creation of Task Forces on dedicated topics. These Task Forces will gather examples, identify and formulate policy messages which will be brought together in position papers which will then be used for advocacy. Members who would like to contribute to one of the below Task Forces should contact AER Coordinator for Advocacy & Institutional Relations Vania Freitas
- Task Force on Food
- Task force on Digitalisation
- Task Force on Migration
- Task Force on Social Innovation
- Task Force on Cohesion
The Committees’ work programmes and the AER action Plan
The development of the Action Plan is a collective process to enable all participants to specify needs and decide to initiate activities which add value for their region. The principle is the following: as long as an action fits with the AER values, is in line with the AER priorities and has support from other regions, it can be included in the
The AER action plan is the consolidation of the three Committees’ work programmes with all other activities led by the Bureau and the Executive Board. It is adopted at the General Assembly.
Members can propose new joint initiatives at any time during the year, these are then approved by the Executive Board and included in the AER Action Plan
Committee 1 Coordination & implementation of the work programme
The new Presidium of the AER Committee on Economy and Regional Development met on 3 May 2019 in Brussels, to discuss the implementation of the Committee’s work programme for 2019-2020. They agreed on a series of actions to support the actions proposed by members on the occasion of the Spring Plenaries. This work is coordinated by Per Erik Andersson, the seconded officer supporting Committee 1 President Kenneth Backgård, Norrbotten (SE).