Strasbourg (F), 10 February 2010.
The Assembly of European Regions (AER) welcomes the new Barroso Commission, approved by the European Parliament. The new college of European Commissioners will shape European policy making for the next 5 years (until October 2014).
“On behalf of AER, I extend a special welcome to Johannes Hahn, the new Commissioner for Regional Policy. Mr Hahn has a strong local and regional background and he has proven in previous responsibilities a sound understanding of regional policy. But of course AER is looking forward to working with all Commissioners and contributing the regional perspective to their individual policy dossiers," underlined Michèle Sabban, AER President.
AER, the largest independent network of regional authorities in the wider Europe, is committed to strengthening its cooperation with the new Commission. With a view to improving cooperation, AER calls on the new European Commission to:
Strengthen relations with stakeholders: Each Commissioner should hold regular meetings with representatives of regions and interregional organisations. At the same time, the new Commission has to create a true dialogue between the different DGs and develop a mainstreamed strategy to better link policies.
Take into account regional expertise and know-how in creating a sustainable Europe – EU 2020 strategy: As the regions are best placed to tackle the economic crisis and to employ a sustainable and knowledge based economy, the European Commission should, through efficient multilevel governance structures, involve them in the development and implementation of long-term strategies such as the EU 2020 strategy and the future cohesion policy.
Treat innovation as a core priority: It is in the regions where innovative ideas are born and implemented. Bringing those ideas to the European agenda and putting strong emphasis on the issue of innovation is what regions expect from the Commission.
Ensure that social inclusion forms a basis for European integration: the new Commission project for a social market economy should promote holistic policies that take into account the most vulnerable persons in our societies and strives to bring them within the sphere of the European economic and social project.
Renew efforts to adopt the proposed Directive on patient mobility and cross-border healthcare and ensure that health remains a priority under the future cohesion policy and structural funds.
Encourage and promote a quality approach in education and training policies that brings the human being with its multiple dimensions into focus and that does not only concentrate on workforce production and hard sciences. Education and training are drivers for research, innovation and entrepreneurship and thus contribute to both social and territorial cohesion objectives.
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 16 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.
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