‘We preserve in the European Union the identities and diverse traditions of its Member States. We are enriched by open borders and a lively variety of languages, cultures and regions. There are many goals which we cannot achieve on our own, but only in concert. Tasks are shared between the European Union, the member States and their regions and local authorities’.
The Assembly of European Regions (AER) welcomes the ‘Berlin Declaration’, signed yesterday by the European Council, European Commission and European Parliament Presidents, on behalf of the 27 EU leaders.
This Declaration contains key elements, which are also present in the ‘Berlin Declaration of the Assembly of European Regions’, signed by AER Presidium on the 22nd February.
Regions and member States share a major concept: Europe is the answer to those challenges that are supranational in their nature, as they ‘do not stop at national borders’.
Among those challenges, both regions and member States identify security (especially terrorist threats), environment and climate protection, energy policy.
The concepts of social cohesion, peace, prosperity, and -most of all- of Europe as a ‘Global Leader’ are also contained in the EU Berlin Declaration: that means regions and member States follow the same path on the way towards the new EU institutional framework.
On the future of the Constitutional Treaty, AER also welcomes the idea, mooted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, of holding a new Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) later his year, in order to define a new Treaty. That’s exactly what AER pointed out as an option last month, adding that this IGC should only introduce ‘the minimum necessary amendments in order to achieve ratification by all 27 Member States’.
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