Aalborg, North Denmark (DK), 6 March 2015
Citizen participation is on all lips, whether to improve social and territorial cohesion, to reduce democratic deficit or to boost growth. But what happens in the field? What does actually work? In practice, several regions implemented remarkably effective strategies. The series of events organised by the Assembly of European Regions (AER) in Aalborg this week under the title Regional Development Strategies with and for the citizens highlighted those strategies. Evidently, the goal is to make the most of different feedback in order to avoid common implementation bumps along the way and multiply initiatives all over Europe.
“I believe the seminar showed how important structural dialogue is: this is true for youth participation, health and regional development at large. We need to organise a constant exchange of views and experiences and ensure citizens are empowered from an early age,” says Mario Žuliček, the President of the AER’s Regional Youth Network.
In this vein, the health agreements in North Jutland (DK) enabled health professionals, regional and local authorities and patients to make decisions together on the basis of comprehensive data analysis of the regional health strategy for four years.
In Värmland (SE) a proactive policy improved parity in political parties and municipal and regional councils. In Donegal (IE) various regional development strategies were defined and implemented collaboratively, enabling effective cooperation of all stakeholders.
“It is quite inspiring as a politician to see how other regions work with the same processes and challenges as ours. I think that we in Nordjylland have a lot of experiences to share and I am very proud I had the opportunity to present these experiences to our guests,” concludes Ulla Astman, the President of North Jutland.
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This leaflet provides further details about the event