Twice a year the members of the AER Committee on Regional Development and Economy gather in plenary meeting. This is the opportunity to set goals for cooperation through the elaboration of a joint work programme and to evaluate progress every six months.
On the occasion of the Committees’ plenaries in Arad, AER members identified joint actions they wanted to implement with fellow regions. Six months later it is time to evaluate progress, celebrate achievements and share experiences!
During the elaboration of the work programme in Arad, planned activities were organised in 3 categories:
Good practice sharing
The below progress report was compiled for the autumn 2018 plenary meeting in Novi Sad. It gives an overview of the situation, 6 months after the adoption of the work programme.
Together for Cohesion: let’s rEUnite! project
“Together for Cohesion: let’s rEUnite!” is a project submitted under a call launched by DG REGIO. On the one hand, this project aims at raising awareness on the importance of programmes, projects and services funded by the cohesion policy funds. On the second hand, the project will encourage the participation of citizens and stakeholders to turn them in active players in the dialogue on cohesion policy.
Silver Economy Awards (SEED): ongoing
The Silver Economy Awards aim to catalyse a sustainable European digital Silver Economy movement by promoting and rewarding innovative solutions to improve the quality of life for over 50s. The Awards are an opportunity to raise awareness around the lesser-known notion of the Silver Economy. They illustrate the breadth of the consumer markets and the public spending involved and the size of the opportunities available for entrepreneurs, investors, public authorities and civil society.
This year the Silver Economy Awards replaced the traditional AER Regional Innovation Award. The first Awards Ceremony took place on May 2018 in Brussels.
SEED is a two-year project: 10/2016 to 09/2018
ARLEM project – Capacity building for an integrated and sustainable urban development: planned
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 focus piloting actions in Turkey, Tunisia and Morocco having already implemented several actions in these geographical areas.
This project aims to reinforce the capacities of local and regional authorities from the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean both in terms of urban management and integrated urban development. AER will contribute in the capacity building activities as well as the organisation of regional conferences.
It is funded by the Finnish Development Agency and activities are planned for 2 years and six months
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 regulative framework to make it consistent with the development of new forms of mobility, including shared used mobility, having in mind to safeguard the interest of the users and to attend societal goals.
The main result will be the creation of a user-friendly governance tool facilitating regulatory processes to support the deployment of innovative transport technologies and services in the EU.
Event: EU funding for Croatian & Albanian regions
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
Mutual learning event on the Sharing Economy (ongoing)
Each year Brussels Capital proposes a mutual learning event on a current and transversal topic. On December 4th 2018, Brussels Capital will organise a mutual learning event on the sharing Economy together with Catalonia, in Brussels, Brussels Capital Region (BE)
New mobility services (planned)
Good practice exchange on electric cars (production of batteries) and infrastructure
Participation of the working group in the REFIT H2020 project on policies to support New Mobility Services
Meeting of the Working Group on Transports and Mobility (ongoing)
The Working Group on Transports and Mobility plans to meet in Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019 on the occasion of the Committees Plenary meetings
Webinar on New Mobilities (planned)
The Working Group on Transports & Mobility will organise a webinar on New Mobilities for all AER members. Date & topic tbc
International event on Biomass in Vojvodina (tbc)
Organisation of an international event on Biomass in Vojvodina (RS) in collaboration with AER members
The Sustainable Development Goals as policy framework (ongoing)
The Working Group on Energy and Climate Change is organising a workshop on using the Sustainable Development Goals as a policy framework on September 26th in Novi Sad, Vojvodina (RS)
Using the SDGs to communicate AER activities (planned)
Oppland suggested that as many of the AER activities are contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, AER should promote the 2030 Agenda, raising visibility of how AER and its member regions are contributing to reach goals.
Study visit on the energy transition (finished)
The main focus of the study visit, was the bottom-up approach for the energy transition, which was implemented in the region. This multi-stakeholder cooperation was materialised by the Gelders’ Energy agreement (GEA). The shared goal is to make the province energy-neutral by 2050. Local and regional industries, governments and NGOs’ in the province of Gelderland, Netherlands, have pledged for the province to become energy-neutral by 2050. It facilitates a co-creative process where initiatives, actors, and energy are integrated into society.
Participants shared good practice and experience and in particular:
observe Gelders’ Energy agreement working process
meet with Gelders’ Energy agreement regional partners
carry out visits to observe regional results
participate in a serious game on energy and the diverging interests of stakeholders to exchange about challenges.
Supporting members to use the TAIEX-Environmental Implementation Review : ongoing
The AER Secretariat is disseminating information about the TAIEX-EIR peer to peer learning programme and supporting members to use this programme to gain or provide knowledge on environmental policies on topics as diverse as air quality, waste management, water management, the circular economy. This programme which is relatively easy and quick to access is a good complement to activities carried out within AER and an opportunity to access support from the Commission to carry out exchnages with other regions.
The TAIEX-EIR programme will be presented at the Autumn plenaries in the workshop of the AER Working group on rural development.
The AER Project Unit will also organise a webinar to help members use the programme.
Food: short supply chains & quality food (ongoing)
The Working Group on rural development is organising a side event on the occasion of Smart City Expo World Congress on the topic of food. Findings of this side event will feed the work of the Bureau Task Force on food.
Waste management in rural areas (ongoing)
The Working Group on rural development is organising a workshop on waste management in rural areas on September 27th in Novi Sad, Vojvodina (RS)
Mobility: engagement in the EIP-SCC (ongoing)
The AER Working Group on Transports and Mobility will organise a workshop or a seminar to share the work of the EIP-SCC with other AER members.
Related activity: Mapping exercise what is going on the field of new mobility services and test locations in general transports.
Cohesion Policy Activities: ongoing
Building on AER’s role in advocating for a strong cohesion policy, and following the adoption of a position paper on the future of cohesion policy post 2020 at the Bureau meeting in Sankt Pölten, Lower Austria (AT) on 1 June 2017, AER will continue to convene and deliver joint policy influencing work for the future cohesion policy by:
- Holding regular debates on cohesion policy among members and between members and relevant stakeholders, such as the “Cohesion Policy: are you getting anything out of it?” debate during the AER Committees’ Autumn Plenary Meeting in Nancy on 12 September.
- Gathering facts and figures on cohesion investments results and impact for a evidence-based advocacy.
- Disseminating the AER position on future cohesion policy to key stakeholders and decision-makers in-country (in coordination with member regions) and in Brussels.
- Working together with other European associations of regions, municipalities and cities and the Committee of the Regions to generate broader support for regions interests and policy proposals, including #CohesionAlliance created to demand that the EU budget after 2020 makes cohesion policy stronger, more effective, visible and available for every region in the European Union.
The Task Force on Cohesion Policy post 2020 will continue to support the work of AER in this field, providing strategic direction and oversight.
These actions aim to ensure European regions engage in the future cohesion policy discussions at regional, national and European level, and meaningfully contribute to the design and implementation of a stronger and more effective reformed policy.
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 finance climate projects in European regions. In August AER met the European Investment Bank to pursue negociations.
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 & Institutionnal Relations Vania Freitas
-Task Force on Food
-Task force on Digitalisation
-Task Force on Migration
-Task Force on Social Innovation
The Committees’ work programmes and the AER action Plan
The developement 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 Committees work programmes. The work programmes are developped in Spring each year.
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 Committees work programmes and the AER action plan.