The Executive Board met on 15 September 2016 in Batumi (Ajara-GE) in the context of the AER 6th Black Sea Summit. The busy agenda raised many key issues with decisions taken on several fronts.
Key decisions of the Executive Board in more details:
- Membership Action Plan: focus on Spain, Italy, France and Switzerland
- Wind of change for the Eurodyssey programme
- “Revitalising democracy” remains top choice of the Executive Board
- AER contributes to continue the dialogue with Turkey
- Update on projects and grants
The future of the Black Sea Summits
AER was the first to organised a coordinated effort in the Black Sea area to support regions around the Black Sea to better coordinate and drive their common policies. Many other organisations and institutions have picked-up on this trend and a number of conferences and events have flourished over the past years. “Although we believe Black Sea regions have not yet reached their full potential, we are confident that the tools and structures are now in place and going in the right direction and I am proud of the AER contribution to this development” confirmed AER President Dr Hande Özsan Bozatli. “As we always strive to detach ourselves from what others are doing, it is natural that we look beyond the Black Sea Summit to where else AER is needed” concluded the President. The Executive Board has opted to focus on AER’s role in interregional diplomacy with an annual Summit that will focus on bringing around the table regions from a specific geographical area to work together on common policies. To implement this, the EB has decided to convert the current Vice-President position on Mediterranean issues (not currently occupied) to a Vice-President on Interregional Diplomacy.
The Summit of the Regions, 28 September 2016, Brussels
This event will be a milestone for the future of the European regional policy. Over 160 regions and interregional organisations have been working behind the scenes to stand united and push for a strong cohesion policy for all after 2020. They will gather in Brussels on 28 September for the Summit of the regions at which time the book of signatures will be handed over to the Presidents of the EU institutions. AER has always closely followed the development of regional policy in Europe as an action at the heart of its core mission to “Promote regional interests in Europe and beyond” and will continue to do so for the next programming period.
AER Bureau in Vienna on “Europe after the Brexit: is status quo an option”
On 24-25 October, the AER Bureau will meet in Vienna to discuss the future of Europe. This political exchange is key as it falls within the 2016 theme of “revitalising democracy“. In the aftermath of Brexit, cleavages and tensions between European countries, political groups and citizens have been brought to light and the very nature of the European Union is more than ever questioned with tendencies to move away from common projects and values. AER is more than ever relevant for regional actors to continue dialogue and exchanges. The Bureau will analyse what values and visions Europeans share for a common project, dream of new models and institutional frameworks, make suggestions to improve the communication and promotion of the European project and, finally, look at the involvement of different stakeholders their common projects.
Autumn Committee meetings, 8-10 November, Izmir
More information will be available on our event page.
The topic addressed will be “sustainable mobility: a brand new world?”
Calendar of activities 2017 – host the next Summer Academy
Discussions are ongoing with several regions to confirm all dates and venues for 2017 to be communicated by the end of the year. We are still looking for a region to host our 2017 Summer Academy, one of AER’s flagship events. The Summer Academy is a highly interactive, innovative and dynamic event gathering regional politicians and young people for a series of workshops and study visits in a specific field. The event attracts high visibility for the host region due to the number of workshops, speakers and participants. Check out the 2016 Summer Academy hosted by Østfold (NO). In addition, the AER Summer Academy is the only AER event for which the costs are shared with the members of the Summer Academy Organising Committee and thus quite inexpensive for the host region. If you are interested in hosting the next edition, please contact the AER team.
All confirmed events are visible on our website. Check it out regularly for updates.
New resources for better services
The EB has decided to allocate additional resources to the AER team and to support the work on two important fronts. First, the “member relations” position will once again be a full-time position to capitalise further on the link with all member regions. Second, a part-time position will be open to support the work on European projects and funding.
Feedback from the first meeting of the Political Election Committee
On 2 September, the Monitoring and Evaluation Group, together with representatives from Värmland discussed the process of establishing the Political Election Committee. The proposal was made by Värmland (SE) at the 2016 General Assembly Bodo (NO) to establish a political election committee (EC) to prepare the elections at the coming General Assemblies. The proposal stated that, during the year prior to an election, the political election committee should explore amongst the members of the AER who may be suitable for AER assignments. In collaboration with the regions, the committee should discuss and generate data for identifying the skills and formal requirements to be associated with the various assignments.
Following this meeting, the Executive Board adopted the proposal to:
- Announce a call for nominations to an Election Committee of five politicians. Each of the members should be supported by one or more officers from their regions.
- Adopt the Elections Committee Procedures at a coming Executive Board meeting, preferably adjunct to the Bureau meeting in Vienna. The final EC Procedures should include a schedule, any upcoming amendments to the AER Statute and Procedures etc.