Since the adoption of the text “A Partnership between the Citizen, Society and the Region in the area of social, health and community care”, the AER Committee for Social Affairs, Health and Employment (IV) has applied itself to the promotion of partnerships between regional representatives, associations and the beneficiaries themselves. This is indeed a new conception of the care and services offered, in particular to the elderly and the disabled, the main principles of which are: solidarity, shared responsibility, subsidiarity, empowerment and active participation of the regional representatives and associations.
During a workshop in October 1997 in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, a first meeting of regional representatives and European NGOs led to a better understanding of this new concept of partnership and allowed those present to exchange experiences in this area. A dossier presenting cases of good practice was put together as well as a brochure to promote this concept among all the partners concerned in Europe. This brochure was distributed to the member regions at the last AER General Assembly. As a follow- up to this action, Committee IV plans launching a campaign for the promotion of this partnership, among the European institutions, in close cooperation with the NGOs active in this field. It also plans to launch an officer exchange programme between coordinators of social projects, at regional level, this year.