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 developped and implemented within Committee 2 between the 2017 General Assembly in Sankt Pölten, Lower Austria (AT) and the 2018 General Assembly in Lillehammer, Oppland (NO).
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.
Brokerage event in Partnership with ERRIN on health innovation: finished
After the success of the brokerage event on the green economy and innovation early 2017, we collaborated with ERRIN to stimulate project development. This resulted in the organisation of the Horizon 2020 Project Development Week.
Project development, Youth Mental Health: ongoing
On the occasion of the Nancy plenary meeting a project development workshop on youth mental health was held to further identify areas for potential collaboration on the topic of youth mental health and the desired scope for such a project. During the Committees Plenary meetings in London, Committee 2 and Committee 3 decided to join forces for the development of a European project on youth mental health. This is the follow-up of a workshop which was held in Izmir and which identified the difficulty for young people to relate to others as a shared challenge for many very diverse regions in Europe. During the AER General Assembly a first project development meeting was held to discuss the type of focus and funding programmes. In the context of this project development the AER Secretariat also engaged with diverse experts from organisations working on mental health and held a meeting with DG EAC on youth mental health.
Due to difficulties in identifying a potential lead partner, members decided to refocus this activity on good practice sharing and awareness raising through
-gathering of prevention resources
-potential topic for a future Summer Academy
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 replace the traditional AER Regional Innovation Award. The first Awards Ceremony took place on May 2018 in Brussels under the moral patronage from Commissioner Mariya Gabriel.
SEED is a two-year project: 10/2016 to 09/2018
Models of Child Health Appraised (MOCHA): ongoing
The MOCHA team is led by the Imperial College London and involves 19 scientific partners from ten European countries and 30 country agents from each European Member State and EEA country. MOCHA appraises the differing models of child health that are used across Europe. The project identified gaps in knowledge, on surveillance of children’s primary care and children’s specific needs in primary care, lack of coordination of care, models of care that are not based on current child health epidemiology, and low prioritisation of children’s needs in e-health strategies. AER is a member of the Advisory Board. AER is benefitting from the connection with the MOCHA experts, which have been invited at AER events (workshop on health innovation ecosystems in Izmir, workshop on social capital for integrated care in Norrbotten) and also shared expertise and advice for the development of the project on youth mental health led by Catalonia and Norrbotten. The project is now in the final year where results will be published. The final conference will take place on 15-16th November 2018 in The Hague (NL).
Active and Healthy Ageing Network AHA-NET: cancelled
The project proposal aimed to implement a Leadership programme for the coaching and training of future reference sites. The development of a Leadership Programme for e-health innovation was agreed on by Committee 2 in 2012. Since then the methodology has been developed and ad-hoc training academies have taken place on the Silver Economy and integrated care systems. This project would have provided an ideal framework for the deployment at larger scale of this programme.
ACT2Bridge project – Actions to Support Regional Ecosystems on Health Innovation Research: postponed
This project aims to encourage and increase the participation of European regions with a low level of health-related research and innovation activity in European research programmes through benchmarking and mutual learning. An increase in their R&I activity is expected to leverage health services, and thus, into social and economic benefits for these regions. Within this project AER is leading the Working Package “Benchlearning and knowledge exchange between regions”, having as one of the main objective of to support our regions to reach equivalent levels of development in the different areas.
This project has not been financed but, considering the high standard of the consortia and the good evaluation it received, it is planned to be submitted again in the forthcoming calls.
AMID project for the inclusion of migrants with disabilities: ongoing
This project is led by the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities and aims to improve the access to services for migrants with disabilities. AER is a partner and Valencia, Timis and Värmland are all members of the Advisory Board.
The project will guide key actors to respond adequately to the disability implications in the identification process and to the cultural implications in the relocation process. It will result in the creation of a Specific Needs Assessment Tool to be circulated among all actors dealing with migrants assessment.
AER leads the Working Package on “Tuning of Outcomes to European Local Authorities” and is the project partner that will ensure the perspective of the regions is included in the adaptation of the projects outcomes and tools.
The project kicked-off in January 2018. In April a second meeting focused on good practices, in particular the JUMA Refugees Map Services and the Washington Group Set of Questions on Disability
AMiD is a two-year project: from 01/2018 to 01/2020.
European network for harmonising self, society, and systems to facilitate integrated care, COST action proposal: cancelled
This project led by partners we have been working with previously aimed at pursuing the work of AER in the field of integrated care systems. The project was not accepted.
Project development, Social inclusion of vulnerable groups: ongoing
With views to the preparation of a project gathering regional good practices on inclusion a debate took place on the occasion of the Committee 2 Plenary meeting. The idea with this project is to define a general approach to inclusion, helping policy makers appraise their policies and develop effective policies for inclusion. As the topic received a lot of interest, a workshop on inclusion was organised on the occasion of the Committees Spring Plenaries in Arad.
Project development, Combatting isolation and social exclusion: ongoing
The region of Timis would like to develop a project to address the isolation of 2 social groups:
-orphans, who at the age of 18 find themselves without support and homeless because orphanages do not support youth after their 18th birthday.
-elderly people, who often live on their own and would need minimal support and company.
The idea is to gather good practices which have been implemented in similar contexts and to look at transferability and adaptation of such good practices.
The debate at the Autumn 2017 Committee 2 plenary showed that these issues are recurring issues in different regions. These topics will also be addressed on the occasion of the workshop on inclusion at the Committees Spring Plenaries in Arad. The idea is to identify good practices for potential benchmarking and transfer.
Project development, Public-private cooperation for social inclusion: cancelled
In order to initiate a project for good practices exchanges on the collaboration between regional governments and the private sector for the social inclusion of vulnerable groups, AER published an article outlining the different issues at stake. Following the publication of this article several regions have expressed interest in developping a project. As no lead partner was identified for the project development the project was canceled
Project development, Equal Health: cancelled
Possible project (seek funding opportunities). Exchange of experiences from different programs offering parental support. As this project idea was not further specified, the activity is cancelled.
DIGIT-ABLE project: planned
Building on the work previously done by AER on digitisation and inclusion, Committee 2 is leading on a project setting up a “European Platform on Vulnerable People in the Information Society”, mapping best practices and socio-economic impact of the digital empowerment of disadvantaged people.
The DIGITABLE-EU project aims to raise the knowledge about the level of digital inclusion of vulnerable people in EU countries and to trigger the sharing of knowledge and good practices in order to increase the level of digital inclusion of vulnerable people. In order to achieve this goal, this project will work on four main priorities:
- Networking with public authorities (national/regional/EU level), social business actors, civil society organisations, international associations focusing on improving the quality of life and social inclusion of the different vulnerabilities targeted by the project as well as digital literacy.
- Establishing a metrics for evaluating the quality and impact of practices for digital inclusion of vulnerable people, for the vulnerabilities covered by the project: People with disabilities; Elderly people; Marginalised young people and children (based on socio-economic status); Unemployed or those facing social problems; Migrants.
- Realise an interactive online catalogue of best practices, accessible via a dedicated website;
- Disseminate the catalogue through dedicated events
The project was submitted on September 2017 under the Horizon 2020 and it will run for 24 months. The coordinator is INSIEL SpA (Friuli Venezia Giulia – IT).
Committees Autumn Plenaries in Nancy: finished
This Autumn’s committees’ plenary took place in Nancy (FR) from the 12th to the 14th of September. The events featured a debate on culture in the digital age, a workshop on the value of data, a workshop on transport & mobility, a workshop on life-cycle approaches and the Committees Plenary meetings.
A discussion on Cohesion Policy and its advantages also took place in Nancy.
Committees Spring Plenaries in Arad: finished
The 2018 Spring Committees’ Plenaries took place in Arad (RO) on 20-22 March. The events featured a debate on innovation ecosystems, a workshop on integrated care systems, a lounge meeting on equal opportunities, a meeting of the working group on transports, a Breakfast Briefing on implementing democracy in regional policy making, a presentation of the social inclusion policies in Arad, a meeting of the Summer Academy Organising Committee and the Committees Plenary meetings.
The Committees’ Plenaries were an opportunity to develop the Committees’ work programmes.
INTERREG Europe Policy Learning Platform (IEPLP): finished
AER was a partner of the Policy Learning Platform (PLP) which is the second action of the Interreg Europe programme established to boost EU-wide policy learning and capitalisation of practices from investments on growth and jobs. The Platform aims to be a space for continuous learning where regional actors in Europe can tap into the know-how of experts and peers. The PLP was present at the European Week of Regions and Cities (formerly Open Days).
Event on a current transversal topic: finished
Jean-Luc Vanraes, President of the AER Committee on Regional Development and Economy invited AER members to contribute to the organisation of a mtual learning event on artificial intelligence held in Brussels, on November 30th 2017. A debate at the Committee 1 Plenary meeting paved the way for this event. This event, “Artificial Intelligence: are regions up to the challenge” was organised on the same format as the event “E-health let’s find a common language” which took place in December 2016 with the contribution of very diverse stakeholders. At the event, group discussions adressed the following topics:
- Supporting innovation, attracting innovators
- The Health Revolution
- Culture In a Digital World
- Skills and Competences: racing with machines
- AI: Towards a Soulless World?
The event lead also to the publication of a series of articles on artificial intelligence and its implications for different policy areas.
Follow up on ALEC: ongoing
The Arctic Light E-health conference is an emblematic example of a succesful cooperation between an AER member region and the AER network. The workshop on data of the AER e-health network in Nancy followed up on issues addressed during the conference. Articles elaborating on topics of the ALEC conference, which are of specific interest to AER members should be published.
Healthcare without harm: tbc
The idea which was presented on the occasion of the Committe 2 Plenary meeting was to combine the topics of healthcare and environment. Activities have not yet been specified and can range from the publication of articles on the AER website showcasing good practices to the organisation of a mutual learning event (online webinar, workshop in Brussels or on the occasion of another AER event). Any such activity needs to be lead by an AER region and supported by a few others. The idea will be submitted at the Spring plenaries to identify whether this is an area where different regions would like to cooperate on.
In the meantime the AER Secretariat has connected the region of Värmland, which proposed this topic, with Diane Whitehouse, an e-health expert who has done research on this topic and whom AER members have had the opportunity to meet at the AER event on artificial intelligence.
Equal opportunities: tbc
Members were interested in sharing experience through articles on the AER website, exchange of good practices, and the sharing of regional data. Members interested in doing so can get support from the AER Secretariat.
This action needs to be further specified, especially in the context of the priorities the AER group on Equal Opportunities has defined for Committee 2: Health Inequalities (gender and socio- economic)
AER AT THE EUROPEAN WEEK OF CITIES AND REGIONS
Workshop on climate and energy transition: finished
Led by the region of Abruzzo, AER co-organised a climate side-event during the European Week of Regions and Cities 2017.
Workshop on the Silver Economy: finished
Led by the SEED consortium. This workshop took participants through four inspiring examples of how a Silver Economy can help regions and cities to better match the needs of their ageing population while supporting local businesses and solution providers. It was the opportunity to discuss the complementarity between these examples and the initiatives at EU level. The networking session that followed brought together potential partners around issues related to the Silver Economy.
Workshop of the INTERREG Europe Policy Learning Platform: finished
The workshop aimed at helping regions learn from the project outputs from their peers in Europe.
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.
Following the publication of the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework on May 2nd, AER’s reaction can be found here
AER Report on Regionalisation: ongoing
More than 40 academic experts accepted to give their contribution to this work, by delivering detailed reports about the state of regionalisation and multilevel governance in chosen European countries. The study covers 41 countries, and each country report is based on a similar structure, thereby allowing a comparative approach among all studied countries.
AER participation in the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing: ongoing
AER is a member of the B3 Action Group on integrated care systems. In this framework AER has a commitment towards raising awareness & building capacities for integrated care systems. Participating in the EIP-AHA enables AER to connect with the right stakeholders, provide state of the art knowledge on health innovation and raise the voice of regions in European discussions on health innovation.
33rd Session of the Congress Local and Regional Authorities: ongoing
AER has a partnership status with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. It sends high-level representatives to the meetings of the Congress and sits in the Chamber of Regions Bureau. On 19 October, the AER President, Magnus Berntsson, took part in the 33rd Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and addressed the Chamber of Regions during the debate on “Regional Co-operation and democracy in Europe: the role of European regional associations and organisations”. At the Session, the AER and the Congress expanded their existing collaboration by signing a Joint Action Plan for 2018-2020. The document reiterates the commitment to work together on various issues of mutual interest, notably regional democracy, youth participation and cultural diversity.