Timis (ROM), 29 September 2006
‘Disabilities are a wealth for the regions and should be viewed as an opportunity, rather than a difficulty’ affirmed Constantin Ostaficiuc, President of Timis County Council (RO), and future President of the Health and Social Affairs Committee of the Assembly of European Regions (AER). ‘Formulating policies for the integration of disabled persons gives the regions the opportunity to view their regional economies and societies from a totally new perspective and to appreciate their potential for flexibility and growth,’ he added.
The AER organised a seminar on the theme Disabilities as a wealth for the regions’ in Timisoara on 28th September 2006, at the occasion of the meeting of the AER Health and Social Affairs Committee. Disabilities should be mainstreamed across all policies and at all levels, from transport to education and from employment to research and development: this was the key conclusion of the event, which brought together 30 European regions, representatives from the European Disability Forum and the Council of Europe, as well as from organisations working for the integration of disabled persons into society and employment. ‘The day when policies for the integration of disabled persons are successful is the day when we will no longer need such policies,’ stated Gunta Ancha, Board Member of the European Disability Forum (EDF).
Mr Constantin Ostaficiuc, President of Timis County Council and host of the event, was elected President of the AER’s Health and Social Affairs’ Committee. Timis is the first Romanian region to hold the post of Committee President within the AER, thereby illustrating the rapid development and integration of Romania within Europe. ‘Accession to the EU in the beginning of 2007 is an important opportunity for Romanian Regions and we must work closely with our European partners in the AER, in order to benefit from the advantages of EU membership and to learn from their mistakes,’ stated Constantin Ostaficiuc.
The Regions also adopted their priorities for 2007, which include the creation of an interregional cooperation network for the development and exchange of e-health technologies, as well as a network for the development of regional emergency planning strategies and the interregional exchange of material, personnel and best practice.
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