Assembly of european regions

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Assembly of European Regions
Coat of arms
Secretariat Strasbourg and Brussels
Official working language English
Type Trade bloc
 -  President Hande ÖZSAN BOZATLI

The Assembly of European Regions (AER) is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together regions from 35 countries and 15 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional cooperation.

Historical background[edit]

On 15 June 1985, at Louvain-la-Neuve (Walloon Brabant), 47 Regions and 9 interregional organisations founded the Council of the Regions of Europe (CRE), which would later become the Assembly of European Regions in November 1987 at the second General meeting of the Regions of Europe in Brussels.

Definition of "Region"[edit]

According to the AER statutes, in principle the term "region" refers to a territorial authority existing at the level immediately below that of the central government, with its own political representation in the form of an elected regional assembly.

AER wants[edit]

  • To establish the principle of subsidiarity as the guiding principle underpinning policy making in Europe
  • To promote regional interests vis-à-vis European and national policy-makers
  • To embody and reflect the regional dimension in Europe and make it more visible on the European continent
  • To ensure that regions remain a driving force for political, economic and social development with a view of accomplishing a multi-layer Europe


Fairness and solidarity: these two values are intimately intertwined, because they are at the root of mutual respect and acceptance of cultural, linguistic and socio- economic differences. AER advocates this solidarity between all the regions of Europe, while urging fairness as a source of cohesion between member regions and promoting equal opportunities for all ; Openness and dialogue: this means that AER is open to all European regions and their elected representatives, men and women alike, from all non-extremist political movements. AER promotes dialogue and dares to confront ideas; Boldness and effectiveness: AER seeks to stimulate creativity and encourage political debate, and aims to transform the regions via forward-looking projects. The effectiveness of the methodologies developed and the thoroughness of our analyses of the various projects are the guarantees of our skill; Democracy and Transparency: these two values are totally complementary and inseparable. This means that AER will act transparently to focus on defending the interests of all the member regions while respecting democratic principles.


Lobbying before European and national political decision-makers[edit]

Access to AER’s reports, positions, and contributions on a given theme Keeping watch over and monitoring European themes from a regional viewpoint Expert political analysis Accompanying members through the European decision-making process Advising members on strategical aspects of regional politics Anchoring, connection, and intermediation with European institution

Gathering and organising expertise on regionalism[edit]

Academic production (studies, etc.) Successful regional practices Thematic expertise Socioeconomic information

Spreading regional information and expertise through diverse channels of communication[edit]

Breakfast briefings Publications Informational notes Events Social networks Website Conferences

Facilitating networking between member regions[edit]

Contact with regions from across Europe Contact with thematic networks Contact with European socioeconomic circles Placing AER and its members on the international scene

Organising training and the exchange of successful practices[edit]

Peer evaluations Training academies Eurodyssey Summer schools Study visits Field visits

Promoting opportunities for regions[edit]

Monitoring calls for projects and service contracts Finding project partners Setting up projects Promoting a region’s potential (regional airports, etc.) Drawing businesses into the regions

Organising encounters[edit]

Events (Crisis summit, etc.) Conferences (meeting on the Black Sea, etc.) Thematic workshops Committee plenary sessions, General Assemblies, Bureaus Work groups

Improving member regions’ visibility and image[edit]

AER awards (for innovation, etc.) Media appearances Regional press spot Tales from Europe Regions in the spotlight

The AER Community[edit]

The AER Community is made up of 3 distinct pillars : the Business Community, the Youth & Students Community, the Regional Supporters' Community.

AER Business Community[edit]

This community is made up of cooperation agreements with the private sector and divided in three categories: Co-founders of the AER Business Community Members of the AER Business Community AER Dynamic Regional SMEs (a unique program to the attention of open-minded and innovative SMEs, willing to extend their market and create news links across Europe) All these partnerships are carefully studied by the General Secretariat and validated by the Executive Board. They are subject to the AER Ethical code on sponsorship.

AER Youth & Students Community[edit]

It is towards young people and students that AER must be most visible. These young people will act as information relays in today’s society to reinforce the regional dimension and bring the citizens closer to Europe. Within this community, the AER Youth Regional Network (YRN) can find its potential future members. The members of the Youth & Students Community will receive many information about European youth-related issues, professional and student mobility programs and the work of AER.

AER Regional Supporters' Community[edit]

Citizens, members of the European Parliament, elected regional, national or local politicians and each promoter of the regional dimension can support the AER on a daily basis. Institutes, universities and other organisations (non commercial) wishing to work in favour of the regional dimension can be part of the Regional Supporters' Community.

How to become a member of AER?[edit]

In accordance with AER’s statutes, regions are defined as “local authorities immediately below the level of central government, with a political power of representation embodies by an elected regional Assembly.”Since regional capacities differ from one state to another, six distinct set-ups are currently possible:

  • constitutional regions enjoying state prerogatives (Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland)
  • regions having an extended political and administrative autonomy (Spain, Italy, and certain independent regions or islands in Denmark, the United Kingdom, and Portugal)
  • regions within decentralised states (France, Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic)
  • regions benefiting from the status of district, department, or county (Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Greece, Lithuania, Norway, Romania, Sweden, Turkey, the Ukraine)
  • regional authorities composed of county delegations (Ireland)
  • small states whose size corresponds to that of a region.

In order to request adhesion: please send an official letter, signed by the president of your region, to the President of AER. Once your request has been accepted by AER’s Bureau or Presidency and the fee is paid, you are free to participate in all our activities. In accordance with our statutes, your application will be ratified during our annual General Assembly

See also[edit]

Join the first network of European Regions [1]

External links[edit]