Banja Luka, Republika Srpska (BiH), 16 September 2011
Members of the Assembly of European Regions (AER) discussed on 15 and 16 September ways on how regions can support each other to develop ways out of the crisis. The most qualified knowledge on regional development lies within regions.
Organizing cooperation between politicians and specialists of regions from different countries leads to fast changes and developments”“ stated Håkan Sandgren, President of AER Committee on ‘Economy and Regional development’ and County Councillor of Jönköping (S). This was the common result of the working sessions that looked at several initiatives which had been carried out in recent month, using the AER Peer Review methodology. They had covered sectors like entrepreneurship, energy or tourism development.
Participants also discussed the new financial instruments that EU institutions promote for the coming years to support regional development. Regional politicians gave a clear message that those instruments have to be developed and carried out in line with the initiatives taken by the regions, if they want to make a difference.
“30% of AER member regions do not belong to the EU. They therefore have a limited access to EU funding. This is the case for my region, Republika Srpska. Hosting this conference allowed us to share experiences with our counterparts from other regions and opened new perspectives for funding our projects” underlined Željka Cvijanovic, Minister of Economic relations and Regional Cooperation of Republika Srpska’s Government.
The meeting took place in Banja Luka, the capital of the Republika Srpska region in Bosnia Herzegovina. In 2009, AER had carried out with its members a Peer review on energy in Republika Srpska, which was featured by the Central European Initiative as an exemplary project.
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