Assembly of European Regions

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Assembly of European Regions
Secretariat Strasbourg and Brussels
Official working language English
Type Trade bloc
 -  Secretary General Hande ÖZSAN BOZATLI
 -  Vice-President for Equal Opportunities Monica CARLSSON
(Region: Norrbotten)
 -  Vice-President for Institutional Affairs Roy PERRY
(Region: Hampshire)
 -  Vice-President Treasurer Magnus BERNTSSON
(Region: Västra Götaland)

The Assembly of European Regions (AER) is the largest independent network of regional authorities in wider Europe, bringing together over 250 regions from 35 countries along with 16 interregional organisations. AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.

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 Priorities for 2007-2012[edit]

  • Promoting the modernisation and internationalisation of regional governance
  • Promoting innovation, growth and employment in Europe’s regions
  • Addressing the challenges of demographic change, migration, health and social exclusion
  • Ensuring sustainable development and combating environmental degradation
  • Developing democracy through diversity, and promoting diversity in culture, media and education
  • Creating a secure environment for citizens

Means of governance[edit]

The General Assembly[edit]

The General Assembly consists of the political representatives of the AER member regions. It decides upon the AER’s political strategy, votes on the budget, decides on the creation of committees or specific assignments, ratifies the acceptance of members, etc. It elects the AER President, the members of the Bureau and the Secretary General.

The Bureau[edit]

The Bureau makes all the decisions necessary for the smooth running of affairs between General Assemblies and co-ordinates the work of the different committees. It meets at least twice a year. Its members are elected for two years by the General Assembly, at the proposal of member Regions. It includes at least one regional representative per country represented within the AER. Two standing committees report directly to this body:

  • The standing committee for "Institutional Affairs" which focuses on upholding the core principles of subsidiarity, good governance and regional democracy;
  • The standing committee for "Monitoring and Evaluation" which focuses on upholding the priorities defined in the strategic plan.

The Presidium[edit]

The Presidium consists of the AER President (currently Michèle Sabban, vice-president of the Île-de-France region), two Vice Presidents, the Vice-President Treasurer and the Presidents of each of the AER’s committees. In the interim period between Bureau meetings, and by delegation, the Presidium can meet and take decisions that are then submitted to the following Bureau.

Committee structure[edit]

Committee 1: Economy and Regional Development[edit]

Regional economic development, employment and knowledge society, cohesion policy, environment, energy, rural development/agriculture and infrastructure, tourism.

Committee 2: Social Policy and Public Health[edit]

Social policy, equal opportunities, demographics, public health and emergency planning

Committee 3: Culture, Education and Youth[edit]

Culture, education and training, youth, media, and information technologies, international and interregional co-operation

Standing Committees[edit]

Presidents of Committees/standing committees are responsible for establishing the sub-committees deemed necessary to deliver the committee’s work throughout his/her term of office and for a minimum of two years.

Standing Committee on Institutional Affairs[edit]

- Promotion of the principle of subsidiarity and the development of regional democracy

- Institutional capacity building: AER Training Academies

- Communicating Europe: Connecting the European institutions with the citizens

Standing Committee on Equal Opportunities

Standing Committee Monitoring and Evaluation

Working groups[edit]

These are temporary bodies, formed on an ad hoc basis for new issues arising in the context of the activities of the committees.

The AER Programmes[edit]


Eurodyssey is an interregional programme promoting vocational training and the mobility of young people across Europe.

Summer School[edit]

Annual forum devoted to relevant issues in the area of regional development.

Youth Summer School[edit]

Annual forum aimed at empowering young people and supporting their involvement in regional policies and public life.

AER's "Subsidiarity is a word" movement[edit]

The Subsidiarity is a word" movement was launched by AER as a worldwide campaign in May 2008 to promote recognition of the idea via its inclusion in substantial dictionaries. Although obtaining considerable success, the word subsidiarity remained notably absent Microsoft Word's influential spell-checker.

See also[edit]

AER Youth Regional Network

External links[edit]