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. Sa years 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 spring 2019 plenary meeting in Örebro. It gives an overview of the situation, a year after the adoption of the work programme.
Together for Cohesion: let’s rEUnite! project: ongoing
“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): finished
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.
SEED was a two-year project: 10/2016 to 09/2018
After two years of dedicated work, the SEED project has met its objectives.
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 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: 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
Open data and blockchain in transports, Working group meeting: ongoing
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), will meet on March 28th, on the occasion of the 2019 Spring Committee Plenaries in Örebro.
The content will be the following:
The Sustainable Development Goals as
policy framework: ongoing
The Working Group on Energy and Climate Change planned to organise a workshop on using the Sustainable Development Goals as a policy framework on September 26th in Novi Sad, Vojvodina (RS).
New mobility services: ongoing
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.
Supporting members to use the TAIEX-Environmental Implementation Review: ongoing
The AER Secretariat disseminated 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 was presented at the Autumn plenaries in the workshop of the AER Working group on rural development.
The AER Project Unit will also
Food: short supply chains & quality food: ongoing
The Working Group on rural development organised 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.
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 will also organise a Breakfast Debate on youth entrepreneurship on the occasion of the Spring 2019 plenary meetings in Örebro (SE).
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.
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 regional level, including examples of policies, programmes and projects promoting inclusion, participation in civic, economic and political life, positive intercultural interaction and the sense of belonging.
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 invited to participate in a workshop in Bordeaux, France in 4 and 5 March 2019.
This workshop was intended as a consultative forum to gather advice, experience and further case studies to facilitate this move. It will help to develop an outreach programme on Life Cycle approaches to sustainable regional development.
Autumn Plenary, Vojvodina: finished
Plenary meeting: Committee for Economy and Regional Development: finished
On the occasion of the 2018 Autumn the Committees Plenary meetings in Vojvodina, the Committee on Economy and Regional Development members decided that the Task Force on Cohesion Policy, which for historic reasons was under the responsibility of this Committee, should be transferred to the Bureau for coherence purposes, as it is the Bureau which is in charge of the identification of policy messages and advocacy activities.
Panel discussion at the Vojvodina plenaries 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 and generate enormous quantities of data in areas as varied as unemployment, air pollution, hospital consultations etc and how this data can best be re-used to create or improve both public and private services. There is a need to change the political perception of Open Data and instead view it as opportunity for policy-making.
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.
Meeting of the Working group on Energy and Climate Change: finished
The Working Group on Energy and Climate Change met in September 2018 on the occasion of Autumn the Committees Plenary meetings. On this occasion, the workshop “The SDGs as a policy framework” took place. Many regions are very active in this space. Oppland, Norway and Varmland, Sweden provided case studies.
Meeting of the Working group on Rural development: finished
The Working Group on Rural Development met in September 2018 on the occasion of Autumn the Committees Plenary meetings. On this occasion, the workshop “Waste management in rural areas” took place. 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 in Vojvodina: canceled
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.
Waste management in rural areas: finished
The Working Group on rural development organised a workshop on waste management in rural areas on September 27th in Novi Sad, Vojvodina (RS).
Study visit on food production: cancelled
The idea was to focus the study visit on the approach to food production in order to see how
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 finance climate projects in European regions. In August AER met the European Investment Bank to pursue negotiations.
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 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 AER Action Plan.