'After the internal market, the Euro, enlargement and the Constitutional Treaty, the EU lacks a clear vision for its future" said Riccardo Illy, President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER) and President of Friuli Venezia Giulia-I, meeting today with José Manuel Barroso, European Commission President. " The new vision for the EU should therefore be to bring Europe closer to its citizens by deepening cooperation between European regions. Many European regions today encounter opposition from national governments when trying to co-operate with their counterparts in other countries, as in most cases this is considered a question of national external relations policy. Regional cooperation should therefore become a matter of EU internal affairs policy, so as to enable the regions to build regional partnerships and to manage on their own cross-border, interregional and transnational cooperation, with respect for the principle of subsidiarity' he added.
Commission President Barroso and AER President Riccardo Illy also exchanged views on the liberalisation of the services market. They agreed that further liberlisation is needed in network services such as electricity, gas and railway transport, where monopolies should be abolished. However, health and social services of general interest should never be a part of this process.
AER Contact: Klaus Klipp, Secretary General firstname.lastname@example.org - Tel: +33 3 88 22 07 07 - Web site: www.a-e-r.org