Östersund, Jämtland region (S), 28 August 2008
A theatre house in Östersund (S) is this week hosting a gathering of more than 50 young people, who were nominated by their regions as “AER Youth Ambassadors” to take part in the Assembly of European Regions' (AER) 13th annual Summer School and 7th Youth Summer School.
The school is this year offering young people from across wider Europe the opportunity to develop projects promoting youth entrepreneurship in their respective regions. Today, the Youth Ambassadors also learned more about AER’s numerous activities involving youth.
A vote was held this afternoon to elect new members of the “Youth Team”, which works with AER’s secretariat to ensure that a youth perspective is “mainstreamed” into AER’s events and programs. Representing the diversity of AER’s 270 member regions, the Youth Team now comprises members from eight regions from across wider Europe.
The ambassadors were also invited to submit their youth entrepreneurship projects from this week’s summer school for the AER Youth Ambassadors Project Award 2008. Entrants will have the opportunity to present their submissions early next year, when a panel of European policy-makers will select a winning project.
Other AER youth initiatives presented today at the summer school included: the bi-annual “Most Youth-Friendly European Region Award”, the “Do you speak European?” public speaking competition, the European Citizens’ Forums taking place across Europe, the AER Scholarship 2008, and AER’s “Eurodyssey” program, which has over the last 20 years offered thousands of young people the opportunity to work in a region abroad.
AER is also planning to establish a Youth Regional Network, conceived as a common platform where regional youth organisations, councils and parliaments from across Europe can share ideas, exchange experiences and together find solutions to the common challenges they face.
Further information about these initiatives is available at: aeryouth.tk.
Claire Bridges, West Sussex (UK), AER Youth Ambassador and President of Youth Team:
“AER’s Youth Ambassadors project means that my region’s young people can be represented at the European level, not just the local or regional level.”
Olov Oskarsson, Jämtland (S), AER Youth Ambassador
“When young people are together it’s almost impossible to NOT come up with new ideas. So being a youth ambassador has given me a great opportunity to meet other young people offering new ideas and possibilities from all over Europe.”
Anton Kuzmin, Olomuc (CZ): AER Youth Ambassador and Youth Team member
“As AER Youth Ambassadors we can undertake projects which our respective regions don’t have the time and capacities to do themselves.”
NOTE TO MEDIA: A press release rounding up the annual AER Summer School will be issued tomorrow, Friday 29 August.
The Assembly of European Regions (AER) is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together more than 270 regions from 33 countries and 13 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.
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