This week, was Lou-Anne’s last week as an intern at the Assembly of European Regions’ Strasbourg Office. This in an opportunity to get a special insight on AER’s work and recent achievements.
“My internship as part of the Assembly of Regions was full of unexpected experiences! So many things happened and I enjoyed every bit of it. First the General Assembly in Lower Austria and finally the Autumn plenaries, important events that need organisation, coordination and communication.
For me, it was a great opportunity to see an organisation at work, so close to its members, always alert to provide all the support regions need. Additionally, I got to know how regional and interregional cooperation in Europe is effectively achieved, how regions get together and what they can actually do together. So many actions, sharing experience and projects are ongoing, I could have never imagined such exhilarating activities! More importantly, I learned how the roles of regional and local governments are truly important. Not only at the national level but also at the international level.
Let’s take Climate Change for example. All the United Nations Goals and the Paris Agreement couldn’t be achieved without the will and actions of the regions! They are the ones closest to the citizens, to territorial realities, better fit to act for adaptation, quicker to respond to an extreme event, and with their competences in transport and infrastructure, key sectors of mitigation! I got to see how AER is actively involved in giving a voice to regions in that domain. This, not only through the R20, which they participated in creating, but also by being present at international events such as the COPs, through the organisation of study visits in innovative regions and cooperation projects in sustainable energy policies for example.
In addition, working with the AER got me to understand how every society is linked together and how it is very important to maintain that link. Exchanging knowledge, sharing experience, swapping good practices, and networking are paramount to capacity building and progress. With innovations in media and technologies, we have every tool at our hands to foster cooperation and carry on our joint efforts to improve social, environmental and political conditions in Europe.
Finally, I got the chance to work with an amazing team, so thoughtful and full of joy. Every member of AER is really committed to their work and have a way to pass on their passion for European regional cooperation. Which I truly took on!
I definitely come out grown up from this experience, with all the tools I need to explore and encourage every segment of regional cooperation, that I wish to devote particularly to the protection of our environment.”