Almost one year after Romanian accession to the European Union, the county councils are keenly aware that it is the responsibility of local and regional authorities to implement the vast majority of EU legislation and to ensure that Romanian citizens are able to reap the benefits of EU membership. In order to ensure that county councils are properly prepared for these new responsibilities, the Assembly of European Regions (AER) is working with the county of Covasna to provide specialised training for officers and politicians responsible for implementing EU legislation.
"Today's seminar ensures that the expertise and knowhow which is to be found in Brussels is accessible for Romanian regions, their politicians and their staff", said Klaus Klipp, AER Secretary General at the opening of the AER Training Academy in Covasna (RO) on Thursday 29th November.
This training event, which is being attended by 50 officers from 10 Romanian county councils focuses on 3 specific areas: EU decision-making, Lobbying skills for regions and EU funding. It provides participants with an understanding of the workings of the European Union and equips them to maximise the benefits that their region can gain from EU membership.
In delivering the training, the AER is working in partnerships with trainers from AER member regions, namely Brussels Capital (BE), South-West UK (UK) and Friuli Venezia Giulia (IT). All trainers are experts in their field, working with the EU institutions in Brussels on a daily basis.
"The AER Training Academy is an important project for Covasna, as it ensures that this county is at the forefront of providing training and expertise in European issues for regions across the whole of Europe", stated Klaus Klipp. "Whilst Covasna is still relatively new to EU affairs, it is fast developing knowledge and experience that it can share, particularly with those regions in countries still aspiring to EU membership. Today's event is just the start of Covasna's involvement in a mutual learning process that will benefit regions throughout the whole of the European continent."
Covasna county has signed an agreement with the AER to play an integral role in the development and delivery of this initiative. The AER training session in Covasna region constitutes a part of a wider training initiative which the AER launched in September this year in Brussels. It provides training for its representatives of its 260 member regions in European affairs on a regular basis. The AER will gradually extend the Training Academy to provide courses in all aspects of regional policy, and will develop the first truly Europe-wide further education programme targeted specifically at regional authorities. The Training Academy will link together public administration institutes across Europe to offer training to regional civil servants and politicians in all aspects of regional public administration. It will cover a diverse range of skills necessary for delivering effective regional governance, including European policies and funding programmes, financial and human resource management and sector-specific skills, such as transport, environment and emergency planning.
The Assembly of European Regions (AER.eu) is the independent organisation of the regions in wider Europe.
Bringing together more than 260 regions from 33 countries and 14 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional lobbying and co-operation.
Joanna Benfield, Director, AER Brussels Office, j.benfield(at)aer.eu – Mobile: +32 497 453586, Tel. +32 2 4218757,
Francine Huhardeaux, Press & Communications Officer, f.huhardeaux(at)aer.eu - Mobile: +33 678 695203, Tel. +33 3 88 22 74 49.