Centurio is a training programme, created and run by the Assembly of European Regions, aiming at the promotion of the exchange of experience and know-how between political representatives and regional civil servants of Eastern, Western and Central Europe. Since 1994 the traineeships offered by this programme allow administrators and political representatives from the Regions of Eastern and Central Europe to get to know the various practices in regional democracy, acquire direct experience in the running of various regional administrations in Western Europe and to establish cooperation agreements and partnerships.
Each year, Centurio begins with an introductory seminar with will take place on 5th and 6th October in Brussels this year. Two new aspects of Centurio are to be launched: on the one hand, the programme is opening up to the Balkans, and on the other hand, a Centurio standing Committee is to be set up in order to build on the experience gained since the creation of the programme in 1994. In total, over 30 work placements will take place over the period 2000-2001. Trainees from Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Slovakia will be able to meet their German, English, Austrian, Belgian, Danish, Spanish, Finnish, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish and Swiss hosts and to get to know the general running of the programme. They will debate the practices in regional administration in the Europe of today and tomorrow together.
In this way Centurio greatly contributes to European integration and encourages the transition process both in candidate countries for the European Union and in the other countries of Eastern and Central Europe. The introductory seminar, co-financed by the European Commission, is a place given to discussion with the representatives of the Commission and the Committee of the Regions of the EU.
This meeting represents the beginning of the work placements. An evaluation session will be held on 6 th December 2000, just before the AER General Assembly in Seinäjoki, Finland, in order to bring in the reactions of participants in the programme.
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