The members of the Presidium of the Assembly of European Regions (AER), at their meeting in Strasbourg on Friday 1st February 2002, welcomed the outcome of the Belgian Presidency of the European Union which led to further involvement for the Regions in European decision-making. They regretted the absence of regional policy on the priority list of the new Spanish Presidency. According to the AER, Regional policy and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are heavy players in current accession negociations, and will create impetus for new governance in an enlarged Europe, therefore reform seems indispensable. The AER now asks the future Danish Presidency (2nd half 2002) to include these two priority items in its programme.
At this meeting, the AER Presidium adopted the AER working programme for 2002. “We have already produced common proposals of the Regions of Europe concerning the European constitution, new governance, enlargement, cohesion in an enlarged Europe and the setting up of environmentally friendly European transport networks. In 2002, we will compare these positions with those of other interregional organisations in order to act in collaboration with the latter at European level. The 2nd summit between the Presidents of the Interregional organisations in Europe, organised by the AER, will take place on 21st March 2002 in Linz (Austria). I hope that this event will lead to a major contribution in strengthening the role of the Regions in Europe and making their expectations heard in the Convention on the future of Europe” said Liese Prokop, AER President, at the press conference.
The President also gave the kick off for the activity programmes of the four Committees: Institutional affairs, Health, Regional policy and Culture, and its three programmes – Centurio, Eurodyssey and the Summer School.
She entrusted the Committees with organising three Conferences on important issues for the Regions and for the development of interregional cooperation in Europe:
– the 2nd Conference of Regional political leaders in the field of Culture,
– the 2nd Conference on Health,
– the 1st Conference on Spatial planning.
The AER President congratulated Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, President of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), for his nomination as President of the Convention on the future of Europe, and Mr Erwin Teufel, MinisterPresident of the Land of Baden-Württemberg, represented on the AER Presidium, for his nomination as member of this Convention. Mr Teufel has been a distinguished member of the AER since its creation.
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