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Bottom up! European Regions focus on making Europe 2020 strategy a success


12 Nov 2010


EU Priorities 2020
Regional Policy

Istanbul (TR), 12 November 2010.

As the newly adopted Europe 2020 strategy sets high objectives in terms of competitiveness and sustainable development, 500 representatives from 150 European regions gathered in Istanbul to adopt a Declaration on innovation, Research and Development (R&D), further cementing the AER as a key actor in building new models of growth for post-crisis Europe.

“Whereas the Europe 2020 Strategy focuses on the general guidelines of tomorrow’s growth models, we at AER stress the mechanisms whereby such growth is made possible. We believe that through our involvement and collective effort, growth can be dynamic yet sustainable and inclusive. Whether we are speaking about clusters, R&D effort or public-private partnerships, it so happens that it all begins at the local level, through synergies, dialogue, and strong policies towards small and medium enterprises” commented Mrs Michèle SABBAN, the newly re-elected President of the AER.

When it comes to research and innovation, the latest AER Surveys and Studies have indeed proved that regions are in the best position to bring about favourable conditions for the creation of clusters. It is in regions that innovative ideas are able to find real opportunities in terms of business and projects, as well as increase the competitiveness of territories. Moreover, regions are key to fostering the cooperation of all R&D actors: higher education, research and industrial innovation. In order to use this great potential, regions need however to be provided with the means to carry on such cluster policies, finance business start-ups as well as creating the conditions for a better market for private and venture capital.

“European regions take on the challenge of catching up to the United States and Japan in terms of dynamism, but also to build a more inclusive and socially responsible growth for tomorrow’s Europe” concluded Ms SABBAN.

The Istanbul Declaration “Challenges for Europe 2020 – Demands for an effective research and development policy” is available at: 

AER background papers:

AER Study “From subsidiarity to success: the Impact of Decentralisation on Economic Growth”:

AER Study “Sustainable energy policies in European regions”:

AER White Paper “Copenhagen and beyond: regions sealed the deal in 2009”:

AER White Paper on future of Cohesion policy:

The Assembly of European Regions (AER – is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together more than 270 regions from 33 countries and 16 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.

AER Contacts
Francine Huhardeaux
Press & Communications Officer
+33 3 88 22 74 49

Valentina Guerra / Antonio Buscardini
Press & Communication Assistants
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For further information:


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