7 June 2014, Joensuu/Finland: AEBR Executive Committee meeting:

Meeting of the AEBR Executive Committee on 7 June 2014 in Joensuu/Finland (Source of the photo: Regional Council of North Karelia)

First AEBR Vice-President Ann-Sofi Backgren and Pentti Hyttinen, Executive Director of the Regional Council of North Karelia, on behalf of Euregio Karelia, host organization, opened the meeting and welcomed the participants.

After the approval of the minutes of the meeting of the Executive Committee meeting held in Drama (Euroregion Nestos-Mesta, Greece), the Secretary General Martín Guillermo Ramírez and the chairman of the Advisory Committee Jens Gabbe gave some explanations on the state of the art of Territorial Cohesion, Territorial Cooperation and EGTC, and proposed further steps by the AEBR based on the recommendations prepared at the meeting of the AEBR Advisory Committee held in Berlin on 22nd May. They also informed about the discussions with Director General Deffaa on 20th May in Brussels and the meeting of all Operational Programmes and DG Regio officers in Brussels on 19th and 20th May, where the AEBR was asked to have a relevant participation.

With regard to other developments at European level, the relationship and meetings with European Institutions and other organizations and stakeholders in the field of Territorial Cooperation, the Secretary General reported about the situation opened after the recent Elections to the European Parliaments and coming changes in all EU institutions, as well as some developments in European networks. Several members of the Executive Committee also offered their views and took part in a dynamic debate: Mr Sijtsma (Province of Gelderland, NL), Mr Lauritsen (Oresund Committee), Ms Csokasi (DKMT Euroregion, HU/RO/RS), Mr Gabbe (AEBR Advisory Committee), Mr Aalto (Bothnian Arc, FI/SE), Mr Patri (Euregio Bayerischer Wald-Bohmerwald-Mühlviertel, AT/CZ/DE), Mr Moisio (South Karelia, FI) and Mr Belliard (Alsace, FR).

The Executive Committee members were also informed about the status of current and possible future projects with participation of AEBR. The draft programme for the AEBR Annual Conference and the Sail of Papenburg package were approved as well.

The Executive Committee also discussed and approved the proposed modification of the AEBR Statutes and the European Charter of Border and Cross-Border Regions. These documents will be distributed to registered participants at the AEBR General Assembly 2014.

Following the exchange on organisational issues, memberships and AEBR events as well as reports from the Task Forces, the Secretary General presented a “Briefing Note for Task Forces”, a brief clarification on the role of AEBR Task Forces.

During the meeting, a brief presentation was given on the ferry connection in Kvarken, a successful initiative implemented between the cities of Vaasa (FI) and Umea (SE) to reactivate the ferry line with modern ships, in a very sustainable framework, including the creation of a joint cross-border port authority. 

-> Photo Gallery (Source: Regional Council of North Karelia)

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