Brussels, 7 October 2010
Today, 300 regional representatives and regional networks responded to the call of the Austrian Land Niederösterreich, supported by the German Freistaat Bayern that hosted the event, for the Prolongation of the Regional Competitiveness and Employment objective (RCE) post 2013. Among them Mrs Michèle Sabban, President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER), was present to represent the 270 regions of AER networks.
In total, 143 regions (objective 2) signed the “Declaration of the Regional Competitiveness and Employment Regions on the future of EU Cohesion Policy post-2013”. AER supported the movement by co-signing this declaration. “This movement is not only symbolic, but indeed really important, as cohesion policy is crucial for Europe, its regions and its citizens”, President Sabban said. “I will bring today’s declaration to the high-ranking conference on cohesion which AER will organise on 7 December, and I invite all the engaged people to join us. All together, we will be stronger to show our commitment to an enhanced cohesion policy“.
After the official signings, all representatives marched to the EU Institutions, and met there the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, the Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, the European deputy and President of the Committee for Regional Development of the European Parliament, Danuta Hübner and the President of the Committee of the Regions, Mercedes Bresso. A handing-over ceremony of the signature-books to these high representatives closed the event.
Cohesion Policy is the main support instrument for Regions in Europe : is fundamental to reducing territorial disparities, which is an essential condition for European economic, social and environmental well-being. It provides for the development of all Regions and encourages territorial co-operation. Cohesion policy has built its legitimacy over the past years and is a key tool in deal with territorial specificities of each European region.
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