Assembly of European Regions

The Assembly of European Regions (AER) is the largest independent network of regions in Europe. Bringing together regions from 35 countries and 15 interregional organizations, AER is a forum for interregional cooperation.

Historical background

On 15 June 1985, at Louvain-la-Neuve ( Walloon Brabant ), 47 Regions and 9 interregional organizations founded the Council of the Regions of Europe (CRE), which would later become the Assembly of European Regions in November 1987 at the second General meeting of the Regions of Europe in Brussels.

The year 1985 was proclaimed by the United Nations as the International Youth Year. The same year AER launched its first program, Eurodyssey , designed to promote and encourage youth mobility.

In 1990, AER’s Tabula Regionum Europae published the first map of its kind quoted in Europe made up of regions and not simply of countries. The year after, the principle of subsidiarity has become a leader in European and national decision-making processes. Soon thereafter, it was recognized in the Maastricht Treaty of 1992.

The creation of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) in 1994 and the Chamber of Regions in the framework of the Congress of Local Authorities of Europe (CLRAE) in 1994, exemplified a victory for AER in Europe .

In 1995, AER launched a campaign to promote regionalism in Europe. As a result, 300 AER members adopted in 1996 the Declaration on Regionalism in Europe .

In 2002, AER presented its position on the „Future of Europe“ ?? to the European Convention. AER actively contributed to the drafting of the European Constitution, demonstrating strong political involvement. The final text included all AER proposals, namely

  • The recognition of the regions as an important level of governance within Europe.
  • The extension of the principle of subsidiarity to regional and local levels.
  • The inclusion of regional cohesion in EU’s objectives.

In 2008, AER established the Youth Regional Network , Europe’s first and only platform of regional youth councils, parliaments and organizations.

Definition of „Region“

According to the AER statutes, the term „region“ refers to a territorial authority existing at the level of the central government, with its own political representation in the form of an elected regional assembly.

List of presidents of the AER

Magnus Berntsson – Västra Götaland (Sweden) 2017 – Present

  • Hande Özsan Bozatlı – Istanbul (Turkey) – 2013-2017
  • Michèle Sabban – Île-de-France (France) – 2008-2013
  • Riccardo Illy – Friuli-Venezia-Giulia (Italy) – 2004-2008
  • Liese Prokop – Lower Austria (Austria) – 2000-2004
  • Luc Van den Brande – Flanders (Belgium) – 1996-2000
  • Jordi Pujol – Catalonia (Spain) – 1992-1996
  • Carlo Bernini – Veneto (Italy) – 1988-1992
  • Edgar Faure – Franche-Comté (France) – 1985-1988


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