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Republic of Srpska at the AER 2016 General Assembly in Bodø, Norway.

Republic of Srpska Representative attended the AER General Assembly from 22nd to 24th June 2016 in Bodø, Norway. It was another opportunity for the Republic of Srpska to meet different regional representatives from all around Europe and to discuss future cooperation and potentials for development.

The General Assembly is the highest authority of AER and convenes representatives of all its full members. Republic of Srpska is full member of the AER since 2008. At the 2016 General Assembly (GA) more than 100 regional authorities were represented followed by other representatives of European institutions, International Organisations etc.

During the 2016 GA The exchange of ideas and debate led the way to the adoption of a political declaration. The declaration will be useful to:

1. highlight the fact that regions are aware and active of these issues;

2. declare that interregional cooperation is a tool to fast track innovation in the public sector;

3. recognise there is a need for a deep change in the way governments design their services and the way they collaborate with citizens, which has impacts in terms of time and money savings as well as engagement of citizens and legitimacy for governments;

4. list a series of recommendations on topics which AER members are or have been working on in the framework of the Committees.

The 2016 GA was opportunity for three regions who shared their experience with concrete examples of how new technologies can offer solutions to the problems of the regions and its citizens, or how new technologies open new opportunities for participation in democracy. Maurice Ropraz, Councillor of State, Fribourg (CH) spoke about their “building consents” e-government project and its benefits: better quality; clear rules for formal and physical inspection of application; process more transparent; better tracking; establish accurate statistics; enhanced information collected. Ana Verushi, President, Korça (AL) presented the many initiatives in her region and Albania and Marta Vilalta, Director General for Youth, Catalunya (ES) insisted on the initiatives developed to increase youth participation in Catalonia.

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