Poznan, Wielkopolska (PL), 5 October 2005
To give Europe a chance to overcome its difficulties, the European Union has to adopt the budget 2007-2013 as soon as possible.’ This is the message sent to the European Council by the Bureau of the Assembly of European Regions (AER), meeting today in Poznan, Wielkopolska-Poland.
European Budget for 2007-2013
The AER strongly affirms that the priority is to adopt a budget immediately and regrets that this point doesn’t appear on the agenda of the next informal summit meeting between Heads of State (27th-28th October). ‘We cannot wait until the Austrian Presidency – 1st semester 2006 – for its adoption. The process after adoption will take time, as the States will have to determine the distribution of the budget before the finances become operational. National governments must now face their responsibilities: either to give a new input to Europe or to condemn it to years of economic and political stagnation,’ stressed Riccardo Illy, President of the AER and President of Friuli Venezia Giulia-Italy. Stefan Miko∏ajczak, President of the Wielkopolska Region, underlined that ‘this budget must take into account that the European Union has grown to 25 members. It must adequately respond to the needs of the enlarged Union in terms of economic, social and territorial cohesion and to the priorities of the Lisbon Strategy.’
The European Social Model
Very concerned by this major issue, the AER Bureau today launched a wide-ranging debate on the Regions’ perspective for the Future of the European Social Model in view of the AER Conference in S-Hertogenbosch, Noord Brabant-NL, on 13th-14th October 2005. Its goal is to draw up a charter of rights guaranteed for the citizens, outlining minimum standards in health and social services and the regions’ commitment to social cohesion as an important element for economic growth. The AER will closely follow the outcomes of the European informal Council summit and the Tripartite Social summit at the end of October.
The AER Bureau has taken the opportunity of meeting in Poland to encourage the new Polish government to further regionalisation in the country. ‘In today’s world it is essential to think global and act local’, stressed Riccardo Illy. ‘Regions are the right place to observe what happens at international and European levels and to respond to the challenges for the benefit of their citizens. Regions with legislative powers have a competitive advantage in this respect’ he added. The AER Bureau has also assured the regions from the new Member states that it will continue to work with the relevant services of the European Commission to reduce the administrative burden of the implementation of the structural funds.
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