AEBR Executive Committee meeting and General Assembly :



 

Members of the Association of European Borders Regions (AEBR) gathered once more on occasion of the Executive Committee meeting , the General Assembly, and the ensuing AEBR Annual Conference taking place on the 20th and the 21st of September 2018. Host was Bothnian Arc and the meetings took place in Oulu, Finland.

Most important challenge for the Association is membership. Current trends were analysed, as well as future strategies to be implemented.

In 2018, the Chambers of Commerce and Industry from Xanthi and Evros (Greece) joined AEBR.

2018 also saw a very close cooperation with European institutions. AEBR has been invited to take part in the strategic definition of actions by the European Commission and in discussions with high level representatives of the European Committee of the Regions on strategic developments of measures related to border regions. Even the European Parliament is consulting AEBR regularly on these issues.

At the General Assembly, members voted for the renewal of key positions within the association: Mr. Oliver Paasch was re-elected as President for a term of two years and Mr Joris Bengevoord (EUREGIO) has been elected as Treasurer of AEBR. Mr. Gerhard Obermair (Inn-Salzach-Euregio) and Mr. Kaspar Sammer (Euregio Bayerischer Wald / Böhmer Wald) were elected as AEBR Auditors.

Mr. Bert Bowmeester (Ems Dollart Region), Ms Martine Verhoeve (Euregio Scheldemond), Mr. Michiel Scheffer (Province Gelderland, NL) and Mr Stefanos Georgiaidis (Euroregion Nestos-Mesta) are new Vice-Presidents, accompanying Ms Ann-Sofi-Backgren (Ostrobotnia), First Vice-President of AEBR, and Vice-Presidents Ms. Gabrielle Lackner-Straus (Euregio Bayerischer Wald-Böhmerwald-Mühlviertel), Mr. Guillermo Fernández Vara (Extremadura), Mr Pavel Branda and Mr Zbigniew Kulik (Euroregion Neisse-Nysa-Nisa), Mr Frédéric Pfliegesdoerffer (Région Grand Est) and Mr Dieter Friese (Euregio Spree-Neiße-Bober).

New members of the Executive Committee are Mr Per Arne Kerttu (Tornedalsrådet/Bothian Arc), Mr Antii Räama (South Karelia), Mr Christoph von Ach (Province Bolzano-South Tirol) and Ms Svetlana Dorosh (Kursk Region). Mr David Lasek (Carpatian Euroregion, Poland) comes back to AEBR Executive Committee after his period in the Polish Government. New colleagues joining as replacement of the official holder are: Ms Anna Quadflieg (German-speaking Community of Belgium), Mr Kaj Soumela (Ostrobotnia), Ms Anthi Panagiotou (Euroregion Nestos-Mesta), Mr Frédéric Siebenhaar (EGTC Eurodistrict Pamina), Mr Matthias Groote (Ems Dollart Regio), Mr Christoph Almering (EUREGIO), Mr Andreas Greiter (Arge Alp), Mr Jurjen van Dijk (Province Gelderland, NL), and Ms Elena Alfimova (Kursk Region)

The Regional Government of Andalucía joined the Executive Committee, being elected Ms Susana Díaz, President of the Regional Government, as member and Mr Ángel Sanchez Muñoz, Secretary General for External Action as replacement. On 2 December 2018, the Regional Election produced a new Parliament, and a new Government has taken office in the last week. Therefore, the new member of the Executive Committee is the new President of Andalucía, Mr Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla.

And, we would like to thank those colleagues who have stopped their mandate in AEBR organs for their commitment and support: Mr Gunther Alsmeier (EUREGIO) as Treasurer, Mr Wilhelm Jungk (Inn Salzach) as Auditor, Mr Mikel Antón and Mr Rafa Hueso (Basque Country), Mr Alexander Grebennikov and Ms Tatiana Gromova (Kursk Region, RU), Mr Boström (Ostrobotnia), Mr Patrice Harster (EGTC Eurodistrict Pamina) and Ms Birgit Oberkofler (Province Bolzano-South Tirol). And, last but not least, we also thank all those members of the Executive Committee who have been taking part for a long time and have repeated their nomination, as they are not mentioned in this lists.

You can find the complete list of AEBR Executive Committee here.

The General Assembly and the Executive meeting served to reinforce the main priority for AEBR in the coming months, which is to keep track of current developments regarding the future of European Cohesion, and particularly of Territorial Cohesion (Interreg and other CBC programmes), including budgetary and regulatory issues. Also relevant for the work of the Association is to follow up the implementation of the Commission’s Communication Boosting Growth and Cohesion in EU Border Regions.

Martín Guillermo Ramírez, Secretary General of AEBR, took occasion of the General Assembly to illustrate how the topic of migration is becoming a growing issue in EU Structural Funding, and how AEBR intends following certain aspects of cross-border migration.

The meetings gave the opportunity to update AEBR members on the developments of the main projects AEBR is involved in, in particular “Interreg Volunteer Youth” (IVY) and “b-solutions initiatives”, and the many projects implemented by the office in Belgrade in the framework of Erasmus+.

Finally, next AEBR General Assembly 2019 was announced: AEBR members will meet in Dresden on 24 October 2019, hosted by the City of Dresden and Euroregio Elbe Labe.

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