Sankt Gallen (CH), 31 May 2005
The Bureau of the AER met in Sankt Gallen (CH) today and urges the EU to respond to new challenges for the future of the Europe, that rise from the outcome of the referendum in France. In the declaration adopted during the meeting, the AER Bureau stresses “that many of the concerns raised during the ratification debate in France as well as in Netherlands, such as the effects of the liberalisation of services and the pursuit of economic objectives without full recognition of the social dimensions, need to be addressed at the national and European level.”
However, the AER Bureau urges the remaining EU Member States to continue with the ratification process “in order to allow their Parliaments and citizens to have their voices heard in the matter, as befits a democratic Europe.”
“The Constitutional Treaty represents a concrete step forward for the regions and their citizens, with the extension of the principle of subsidiarity to the regional and local levels, the inclusion of territorial cohesion within the Union’s objectives, the recognition of regional identities as well as the increased consultation of the regions in the legislative drafting phase” highlighted Riccardo Illy, the AER President, who campaigned in favour of yes by mobilising the Presidents of the French regions. “I call for the European regions to ensure that the gains for the regions embodied in the European Constitutional Treaty are attained regardless of the final outcome of the ratification process” he concluded.
In this context, the AER Bureau expresses its hope that the European Council meeting on 16th and 17th June will result in a consensus on the EU budget for 2007-2013. The AER emphasises that a minimum amount of 0,41% of EU GNP is necessary in order to adequately meet the needs of an enlarged Union, in terms of economic, social and territorial cohesion, as well as the priorities of the Lisbon Strategy, and calls for Heads of States and Governments to make a wise decision.
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