History of the Assembly of European Regions

AER Presidents

 

Edgar Faure (Founder) - 1985 - 1988

 

 
Carlo Bernini - 1988 - 1992
Jordi Pujol - 1992 - 1996
Luc Van Den Brande - 1996 - 2000
 
Liese Prokop - 2000 - 2004
Riccardo Illy - 2004 - 2008
Michèle Sabban - 2008 - 2013
 

 

Hande Özsan Bozatli - 2013 - present

 

 
Milestones

1985-1989 An emerging community

On June 15th 1985, in Louvain-la-Neuve (Wallonia - BE), 47 Regions made up of politicians strongly favouring the concept of regionalism as well as fervent Europeans, join 9 interregional organisations, seeking the support of a larger political entity, to found the Assembly of European Regions. In 1986, the Council of Europe honours AER's status as a fundamental European organisation representing regions. In 1985, AER launches its first programme Eurodyssey, designed to promote and encourage youth mobility. The fall of the Berlin wall, in 1989, marks the opening up of AER to the regions of Central and Eastern Europe stressing the importance of regional level politics in modern democracy with respect for cultural plurality and European regional development.

1990-1994 Shaping a Europe of regions

In 1990, AER’s Tabula Regionum Europae publishes the first map of its kind – citing a Europe made up of regions and not simply of countries. In 1991, the principle of subsidiarity becomes the leading AER campaign to promote the role of regions in all European and national decision-making processes. Soon thereafter its success is to be evident after the principle is recognized in the Maastricht Treaty of 1992. 

The creation of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) in 1994 and the Chamber of the Regions in the framework of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities (CLRAE) in 1994, exemplifies a victory for AER in advocating for the regions in Europe. In 1994, AER launches CENTURIO, a programme encouraging regional civil servants in Central and Eastern Europe to follow training courses in western regions.



 

1995-2000 Think global, act local

In 1995, AER launches a massive campaign to promote regionalism in Europe. As a result, 300 AER members adopt in 1996 the Declaration on Regionalism in Europe immediately initializing a reference document for new and developing regions. In 1996, AER hosts its first Summer School creating a proper framework for regional representatives to discuss matters affecting regional policies. In 2000, AER establishes its website.

2001-2005 Engines of the future

In 2002, AER presents its position on the “Future of Europe” to Valérie Giscard d’Estaing in the frame of the European Convention. AER actively contributes to the drafting of the European Constitution, demonstrating strong political involvement. The final text includes all AER proposals, namely the recognition of the regions as an important level of governance within Europe as well as the extension of the principle of subsidiarity to regional and local levels, and notably the inclusion of regional cohesion in EU’s objectives. AER also publishes the leaflet “The EU Constitution: your questions answered” designed for European citizens. In 2005, the Constitution is rejected, but AER continues to push forward these principles in the drafting of the Lisbon Treaty.

From 2001, the AER decides to boost youth involvement in the regions. In order to do so, it establishes the  “Most Youth-friendly European Region” award in 2001, and in 2002, organizes the first Youth Summer School. In 2003, AER adopts its first Regionalism Report evaluating the state of regionalism across Europe. Apart from institutional actions, AER's outstanding responses to the everyday needs of citizens was gaining wide public attention. Lobbying alongside regions against GMOs or for the development of regional airports exemplify some of the major successes within these years.

2006-2011 From Subsidiarity to success

AER demands are contextualised into articles within theTreaty of Lisbon, soon thereafter ratification processes begin in 2007 while the treaty enters into force in 2009.
In 2008, AER launches the worldwide “Subsidiarity is a word” movement. The expansion of this principle breaks frontiers worldwide spreading the idea that decisions should be taken as closely as possible to the citizen. From 2007, AER launches a number of successful initiatives such as: AER Communicating Europe Award, AER Innovation Award, “Do you speak European?” Competition, AER Peer Reviews, AER Training Academies, AER Citizens’ Forums, and AER Scholarships. In 2008, AER establishes the Youth Regional Network, Europe’s first and only platform of regional youth councils, parliaments and organisations. In 2009, the question of decentralization becomes widely debated, can it really foster economic growth? An AER study entitled “From Subsidiarity to success: The impact of decentralization on economic growth” indeed proves that decentralization promotes enduring economic growth. 2010 marking its 25th anniversary, AER updates its Regionalism Report and presents a Position on EU “Europe 2020” strategy.

2010 - 25 years of AER successes

 

Since 2012 – AER partner for growth

With the economic and financial crisis and the challenges linked to the Europe 2020 objectives, AER quite naturally became the European regions’ partner for growth. The AER strategy 2013-2020 opened up a new chapter in the promotion of the regional fact in Europe. Turning from the motto “Europe of the regions” to the concept “Europe with the regions”, AER places itself as a key actor of the multi-level governance advocated by the Lisbon Treaty.

The setting up of concrete partnerships with thematic networks and the opening towards the business world allows AER to give a new impulse to the actions of regional political leaders all over Europe, and beyond.

Through its Youth Regional Network, AER also gives a leading position to young people, who are the future for Europe.

Photo Gallery - 1985 until 1996

01 - Annual Meeting Strasbourg - 1985

02 - Annual Meeting Strasbourg - 1985

03 - Council of Europe - 1985

04 - Council of Europe - 1985

1986-Eurodyssee

06 - Annual Meeting Bruxelles - 1987

07 - Annual Meeting Bruxelles - 1987

08 - Executive in Venice - 1987

09 - Executive in Venice - 1987

1989-Comite Permanent Madrid

1989-Comite Perman Vienna1

1989-Comite Perman Vienna2

1989-comite Perm Vienna3

1989-comite Perm Vienna4

1989-Conf Pres

16 - Stuttgart - 1989

17 - General Assembly Strasbourg - 1990

18 - General Assembly Strasbourg - 1990

1990-Bernini Lalumiere

20 - Bernini and Trautmann - 1990

21 - Bernini and Trautmann - 1990

22 - Bureau in Barcelona - 1990

23 - Bureau in Barcelona - 1990

24 - Bureau in Venice - 1990

25 - Bureau in Venice - 1990

1990-comite Perma

27 - General Assembly Santiago - 1992

28 - Pujol Delors - 1992

29 - Pujol Delors - 1992

30 - General Assembly Bonn - 1993

31 - General Assembly Bonn - 1993

32 - Bureau Moscow - 1993

33 - Bureau Moscow - 1993

34 - Bureau Moscow - 1993

1993-Comite Est Ouest

1993-Comite Est Ouest2

1993-Conf Region

1993-Conf Region2

1993-Eurodyssee

40 - General Assembly Strasbourg - 1994

41 - General Assembly Strasbourg - 1994

42 - Bureau Leeuwarden - 1994

43 - Bureau Leeuwarden - 1994

44 - Meeting Com6 Castilla y Leon - 1994

45 - General Assembly Antwerpen - 1995

46 - General Assembly Antwerpen - 1995

47 - General Assembly Antwerpen - 1995

48 - General Assembly Antwerpen - 1995

49 - Meeting Com5 Dalama - 1995

1996-AG-Bale1

Photo Gallery - 1996 until 2009

53 - Bureau Maastricht - 1996

54 - Bureau Maastricht - 1996

55 - Seminar Strasbourg - 1996

56 - Seminar Strasbourg - 1996

57 - Van De Brande Santer - 1997

58 - Com V Acores - 1998

59 - Com V Acores - 1998

60 - Conference Elargiss - 1999

61 - Prokob Schimmer - 2000

62 - General Assembly Sopron - 2001

63 - General Assembly Sopron - 2001

64 - General Assembly Naples - 2002

65 - Barroso - 2007

66 - Barroso AER Youth - 2007

67 - AER Map - 2007

68 - Committee 2 - 2008

69 - Standing Com Equal Opportunities - 2008

70 - Presidium - 2008

71 - Michèle Sabban and Danuta Hübner at EC - 2008

Danuta Hübner, Member of the EC in charge of Regional Policy, on the right, receives Michèle Sabban, Acting President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER)

72 - Subsidiarity is a word- 2008

73 - YRN founding meeting Wiesbaden - 2008

74 - Michèle Sabban with José Manuel Barroso and Luc Van Den Brande in Brussels - 2009

Brussels - 20/01/09 - Meeting President Barroso with President Van Den Brande and the presidents of associations : President Barroso, Luc Van Den Brande, Michele Sabban

75 - Summer School Hubner in Valencia- 2009

76 - YRN group - 2009

 
 
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