AER President Dr Hande Özsan Bozatli and Laurent of Belgium made official their cooperation agreement on 17 May. The background of the collaboration is the growing environmental and climate challenges for which Laurent of Belgium has valuable expertise and great personal interest. AER and its regions have initiated multiple actions over the past decade to promote regions in their energy transition and the AER’s presence at COP21 last December crystalized the potential of regions in the climate negotiations. The advisory role of Laurent of Belgium to the President will also extend to other areas based on his extended experience in private companies, international organisations and the public sector. Laurent of Belgium insisted on his fervent support to the AER cause as well as the President herself which play a pivotal role in promoting European values of sustainability, peace and tolerance and weigh in on the fight against extremism.
Dr Hande Özsan Bozatli welcomed the support of Laurent of Belgium stating that « we always rely on our friends to help us accomplish our mission towards regions and their citizens, that is of great added value for all concerned. We are particularly active in 2016 to ‘revitalise democracy’ and to bring answers to the deep concerns of European citizens including unemployment, migration, weak economic growth and terrorism. » AER manages to address these issues both on a political level, with a structure that is not based on the political parties of the members and favours true debate, as well as very concretely through the exchange of good practices between regions.
The advisory agreement will run for the rest of Dr Bozatli’s presidential mandate at AER at the end of 2017.