The Assembly of European Regions is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe, with more than 270 member regions from 33 countries and 16 interregional organisations.
Founded in 1985, the Assembly of European Regions is a forum for interregional cooperation and a group of political influence of the regions to the European institutions.
The AER has played a key role in the creation of consultative bodies of the Council of Europe (Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe) and the European Union (CoR).
Regions are one of the pillars of democracy in Europe. Close to the citizens by their size, they are best placed to meet their aspirations and resolve economic and social problems. This real nature of regions fully justifies their active contribution to the work of state institutions and to the decision-making processes at European level.
Platform – collective of organisations
- Organise and strengthen dialogue, mutual consultation and cooperation between European Regions, in accordance with the constitutions, laws, rules and treaties in force in the respective States, and while respecting and promoting cultural diversity in Europe.
- Promote regionalisation in Europe and enforce the principles of subsidiarity and complementarity between local, regional, national and European levels. To ensure that these objectives are met in the long term, the involvement of youth should be encouraged. Thus, the AER supports the efforts and the networking of organisations, parliaments and regional youth councils under the responsibility of AER.
- Promote the active role of Regions in the European construction and to do so, increase their institutional participation, particularly in the decision making process within the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the European Union.
- Cooperate with the European associations representing regional and local authorities.
- Cooperate with and support the activities of interregional associations.
- Manage its own programs or participate in programs developed by third parties in order to achieve or pursue its own objectives.
- Enter into agreements with organisations with shared interests with the AER; agreements must be approved by the Board and ratified by the General Assembly.
- Lobbying: the numerous contacts of the AER in European institutions, organisations and the media in Brussels and Strasbourg open the door to regions wishing to establish their political economic and cultural presence in Europe. In addition to a power of influence in Brussels for its members, the AER proposes a training academy for politicians and employees wishing to expand their knowledge of European affairs, as well as regular themed breakfasts for members of regional representations based in Brussels to discuss various EU policies.
- Networks: AER helps regions to establish partnerships with European institutions and other European regions. The « Funding Trackers » and the online cluster of partners help to keep members informed of the latest sources of funding and partnership opportunities, while the study visits of AER and the customised audit expert allow members to develop regional strategies for sustainable development with the support of leading experts from regions known for their good practice.
- Programs and Events: in addition to the activities organised by the Committees, members of the AER are invited to participate in other events and programs throughout greater Europe. The AER General Assembly gathers every year more than 600 regional representatives (one hundred regional presidents) and collaborators, as well as guests from the European institutions, NGOs and academia. In addition, the program Eurydice, chaired by the Azores region, has for over 25 years provided over 10 000 young people the opportunity to live and work in a region abroad.
- Communication: AER members have access to daily monitoring and weekly newsletter including news relevant at European, national and regional levels. They also have the opportunity to upload their own business cards, press releases and videos on the AER website.
- The most important network of European regions, knowing that here we consider Europe as a geographical area that is not limited by the Union.
- A position and actions enhancing the « local » dimension of European governance, closer to the citizens.
- Interregionalism can be an important component of European integration.
Finance and Main Partners