Brussels (B), 7 December 2006
Over 300 persons met today in Brussels at the Round Table on Energy Efficiency for Regional Economic Development, jointly organised by the European Federation of Regional Energy and Environment Agencies (FEDARENE) and the Assembly of European Regions (AER). The AER and FEDARENE were pleased that Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Energy, accepted their invitation to participate to this event, extended by Onno Hoes, President of the AER Economy and Regional Development’ Committee and by Roger Léron, FEDARENE President.
‘Only by including regional actors in the drafting of the White Paper on Energy will you be able to find the right tools for addressing the challenges of energy dependency and at the same time contribute to regional economic development. The European Commission has already incorporated our request in its Action Plan for Energy Efficiency, where the regional level is acknowleged as a key actor, but we still need to go further,’ stated Onno Hoes. ‘We demand that the European institutions and national governments respond to the concerns voiced by the citizens and the regions over the future of energy. Indeed, it is the regional level that develops pragmatic solutions every day,’ added Roger Léron, FEDARENE President.
During this event, which took place under the patronage of the Committee of the Regions and was supported by Philips, 65 regions from 19 countries signed the Declaration on European Regions for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Sources’. ‘Signing this Declaration is more than simply adding one’s name at the end of a document; it is a strong commitment on behalf of each signatory to achieve, within the next 5 years, concrete objectives that they themselves have fixed, such as targets for increasing the share of renewable energy sources,’ explained Michael Geißler, FEDARENE Secretary General. ‘We are proud of the dimension this initiative has taken. Lets’ not forget that when it was launched in March this year, only 8 pioneer regions had signed this Declaration!’ declared Constantin Ostaficiuc, President of the AER Social Policy and Public Health’ Committee and President of Timis County (RO). ‘This is a perfect illustration of what the AER is: a network of regions that, by working together, increase their political weight before the institutions and become a natural and strong partner in the formulation and implementation of European policies,’ Mr Ostaficiuc concluded.
FEDARENE is the premier European network of regional and local organisations which implement, co-ordinate and facilitate energy and environment policies. Regional and local agencies, ministries and departments working in these fields, are represented. FEDARENE has 65 member regions from 15 European Union countries. www.fedarene.org
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