CONFERENCE OF EUROPEAN REGIONAL LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLIES
 
 
 
CALRE NEWS
 
 
 

Newsletter n. 1  April 2018

Ana Luís, President of the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE) opening message

 
Dear Readers,

It is with great joy that I address you for the first time through CALRE’s Newsletter, body which I have the honour of chairing since 1 January 2018.

For this term I propose to put at the heart of the debate matters of utmost importance for a more social and sustainable Europe, such as climate changes and natural resources; geography and outermost regions; gender issues and equal opportunities.

It is also my goal to focus CALRE’s action on the relationship between its Regions, on seeking synergies, as well as on the role Regions can and should play in drafting EU legislation.

To affirm CALRE as a body that, within the European scene, represents Regions with Assemblies and Parliaments with legislative powers is a goal, since its foundation, and which can only be achieved through the strengthening and reinforcement of the institutional relationship with the different European institutions.

In June 2018 we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Cohesion Policy, at a time when community strategy for the post 2020, in this area, is at the heart of the work of the European institutions and, consequently, of CALRE. We intend a harmonious development of all European Regions. That is why CALRE considers Cohesion Policy the main European Union (EU) investment policy and rejects its devaluation.

In the current scenario, it is necessary to bring citizens closer to the decision-making centres, increase their participation in political life and raise their awareness for the benefits of belonging to the EU.

This Newsletter is a privileged channel to provide information on the activity we will carry out over the year.

So, I invite you to share it.

CALRE is (from) all of us!

NEWS FROM CALRE
CALRE at the Structured dialogue on "Enhancing the Democratic Dimension of EU trade policy: the role of regions and cities”
André Antoine, President of the Parliament of Wallonia and coordinator of CALRE´s Working Group on Interactive Democracy, attended the Structured dialogue on "Enhancing the Democratic Dimension of EU trade policy: the role of regions and cities", wich took place in Brussels, on 24 April, on behalf of CALRE.

For more information click here
Ana Luís meets with the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe

The President of the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE), Ana Luís, met with the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Gudrun Mosler-Törnström, on 28 March.

Besides having expressed the importance of continuing with the agreement of cooperation between the two bodies, where CALRE is a privileged partner as it represents regions with parliaments elected directly by the people in the pursuit of common interests, such as the strengthening of the quality of regional democracy and the involvement of the citizens in decision-making, Ana Luís expressed CALRE’s deep concern regarding the future of Cohesion Policy for the post 2020, since it is very important for the harmonious development of the regions.

In this sense, Ana Luís stated that CALRE rejects the devaluation of Cohesion Policy, as well as the decrease of its relative weight on the total Union budget, which was already defended by the “Joint Statement on the future of Cohesion Policy”, a document unanimously approved at CALRE’s Standing Committee meeting and sent to the European institutions.

Photos Link. 

Horta, 29 March 2018

“Regional identity is not incompatible with the nation-State”, said Ana Luís at the Chamber of Regions of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe
"Regional identity is not incompatible with the nation-State nor it is, even, a prior or pioneer state of regional nationalism, the same way decentralisation is not a synonym for weak State”, said Ana Luís, President of the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE), at the Session of the Chamber of Regions of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.

Speaker in the panel “Regional identity and integrity of the nation-State”, CALRE President stated that, on the contrary, a strong regionalism and a broad political decentralisation promote regional identity, essential to political affirmation of the regional democracy of CALRE members, and that institutional recognition, by the State, of a regional identity established within a regime of political and legislative Autonomy leads to the reinforcement of national unity.

Ana Luís gave the example of the Azores, were it was “necessary to build a real and effective regional unity of these nine islands and their people, also reinforcing the Azorean People’s identity through the results of self-governance and internal cohesion and unity” and added that “this does not mean that the existence of a strong regional identity, namely when promoted by political decentralisation, inevitably leads to movements against the nation-State”.

Centralism, the distance from political power, disinvestment and lack of resources must be considered the leading causes for disbelief in nation-Sate, identified by CALRE President, that concluded her speech stating that the “European nation-States cannot face regionalism, decentralisation, subsidiarity or multilevel governance as a threat to its subsistence”.

Speech (PDF)

Strasburg, 28 March 2018

Ana Luís meets with the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

The President of the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE), Ana Luís, with the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Michele Nicoletti.

At the meeting, which took place in Strasbourg, Ana Luís presented the main goals of CALRE’s Activity Plan for 2018, highlighting the importance of reinforcing the institutional relationship with the European and international associations.
 
It was in this spirit that CALRE President expressed the Conference’s interest in reactivating the “Agreement to reinforce cooperation between the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and CALRE”, signed on 23 June 2008, considering the common principles to both bodies, as for example the promotion of democracy and human rights and the reinforcement of the institutional role of the regional Parliaments.

Reiterating the importance of these principles, CALRE President has defended the Regions’ participation in the European legislative process, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity. As regards the promotion of human rights, Ana Luís made it clear that the Conference will mark the World Refugee Day, which is celebrated on 20 June, with the release of a Statement.

Tomorrow, Ana Luís will attend as a speaker in the panel “Regional identity and integrity of the nation-State”, in the Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.

Strasbourg, 27 March 2018
CALRE at the meeting to handover the results of Cohesion Alliance

Roberto Ciambetti, President of the Regional Council of Veneto and coordinator of CALRE’s Working Group on Cohesion Policy, attended the meeting to handover the results of the #CohesionAlliance, which took place in Brussels, on 22 March, on behalf of  CALRE.
Joint Statement on the future of Cohesion Policy

The Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE) expresses its profound concern regarding the scenarios of the deep cuts to the Cohesion Policy funding, as presented recently by the European Commission in the preparatory context of the European Union (EU) Budget for the post 2020, which will be officially presented next two of May.

In this context, CALRE reminds the key contribution of this policy to the development of all the EU Regions and the reduction in disparities among the different European territories and stresses that, throughout the several periods of programming, Cohesion Policy has been constantly deepened, which enabled to respond to the institutional challenges and, even, to European crises.

Considering this, CALRE absolutely rejects any scenario of the pluriannual legislative framework which leads to the devaluation of Cohesion Policy in the post 2020. In particular, CALRE expresses its objection towards any proposals to reduce cohesion funding and to decrease its relative weight on the total budget of the Union. Likewise, the scenario of restriction of the applicability of Cohesion Policy only to the less developed regions deserves our strong rejection.

Thus, CALRE appeals to the European institutions and Member States to assure, in the forthcoming negotiations, the existence of a strong Cohesion Policy, present in all the European regions and with a suitable funding, in order to improve the capability for investment of the regional authorities and to reduce territorial disparities, encouraging cooperation and expressing European solidarity to increase and to continue an economic growth.

Brussels, 15 March 2018

“A stronger Europe must have a stronger Cohesion Policy”, said Ana Luís at the first meeting of CALRE’s Standing Committee

“A stronger Europe must have a stronger Cohesion Policy”, said Ana Luís, President of the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE) at the first meeting of CALRE’s Standing Committee.

During the meeting, which was held at the Committee of the Regions, in Brussels, CALRE’s Working Programme for this year was presented and it is based on three essential pillars: to boost CALRE’s political and public dimension, promote the work of CALRE’s Parliaments and encourage reflection on the future of the Conference. With this in mind, the technical document entitled “Reflection on the Future of CALRE” was presented and it aims at putting CALRE into context within the other similar European institutions and its importance for the European construction project.

In the meeting, the Coordinators of the Working Groups presented the programmes and goals for 2018 and the Secretary General of the Committee of the Regions, Jiří Buriánek, presented the past and future activities of the Task Force of the European Commission on Subsidiarity and Proportionality.

    

During the meeting, Ana Luís presented the “Joint Declaration on the future of Cohesion Policy”, which expresses CALRE’s strong concern regarding the scenarios of the deep funding cuts to the Cohesion Policy and calls upon the European institutions and the Member States to ensure the existence of a strong Cohesion Policy, with an adequate financing and aiming at empowering the regional authorities to stimulate investment. The document was unanimously adopted and will be sent to European institutions.

Also in this regard, the “Statement on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of Cohesion Policy” was presented and discussed, and will be released on 24 June 2018, date that celebrates the occasion.

Another item of the agenda was the presentation and analyses of the “Statement on the occasion of the World Refugee Day”, which states that the European regional parliaments are committed to act with determination in order to fulfil common initiatives aiming at supporting the humanitarian crisis of the refugees and the migratory movements.

The first meeting of CALRE’s Standing Committee gathered the Presidents and representatives of thirteen regional parliaments: the Regional Assembly of the Autonomous Region of the Azores and the Regional Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Madeira (Portugal); the Parliament of Andalusia, Corts Valencianes, the Parliament of Canary Islands, the Regional Assembly of Murcia  (Spain); the Parliament of the German speaking Community of Belgium, the Parliament of Wallonie (Belgium); the Parliament of Bavaria (Germany); the Parliament of Aland Islands (Finland); the Regional Council of Veneto, the Regional Council of Abruzzo and the Parliament of Molise (Italy).

Brussels, 15 March  2018

The First Standing Committee addresses the Presidency activity programme for 2018
During the first meeting of CALRE’s Standing Committee, that took place at the European Committee of the Regions, in Brussels, on 15 March 2018, the Working Programme for this year was presented and it is based on three essential pillars: to boost CALRE’s political and public dimension, promote the work of CALRE’s Parliaments and encourage reflection on the future of the Conference.
Brussels, 15 March 2018
CALRE Working Group on Subsidiarity meeting

The CALRE Working Group on Subsidiarity, chaired by First Vice President of Bavarian State Parliament Reinhold Bocklet met in Brussels March 15th to discuss the themes of the Task Force Subsidiarity, Proportionality and ‚Less, but more efficiently‘ the European Commission established 2018. This Task Force shall deliver its report until July 15th this year, when Austria will start their EU Council Presidency. The group discussed with Prof. Dr. Christian Calliess, Legal Adviser at European Political Strategy Center (EPSC) and Prof. Dr. Klemens Fischer, Permanent Representation of Austria to the European Union, that the Task Force will effect regional parliaments with legislative competences. Even if the Conference of Presidents of Regional Parliaments in Germany and Austria asked the Commission and the Committee of the Region to name First Vice President Bocklet as a member of the Task Force, regional parliaments still are not represented in the Task Force. And so is the European Parliament, but they were asked but did not send a member. Nevertheless the Working Group on Subsidiarity decided to work out and deliver an own contribution for their next meeting in Brussels, approximately September 6th.
Ana Luís meets with the President of the European Parliament

The President of the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE), Ana Luís, met with the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, in Strasbourg.

In this meeting, Ana Luís presented the top priorities for her term, which include the strengthening of the relationships between CALRE and the European Parliament and other European institutions, and underlined that CALRE differs from other regional cooperation bodies in that it gathers 74 regional parliaments with legislative powers, whose regions have similarities or proximity at their political statutes level.

Reiterating the relevance of the role of the regions, which have a better knowledge of their territories and of the needs of their peoples, in the process of European construction, the President of CALRE also defended the importance of direct communication between the regional Parliaments and their national Parliaments and reaffirmed the importance and CALRE’s interest in the Task Force of the European Commission on Subsidiarity and Proportionality.

Ana Luís also expressed CALRE’s concern regarding the future of Cohesion Policy and defended that, on preparation of the EU’s Budget for the post 2020, the reduction in the Cohesion Policy budget is not acceptable since this policy is essential for the harmonious development of the European Union.

Tomorrow, Ana Luís will chair the first meeting of CALRE’s Standing Committee, whose agenda includes the Activity Plan of the Conference and the Working Groups for 2018 and the Reflection on the future of CALRE. The meeting will be attended by the Secretary General of the Committee of the Regions, Jiří Buriánek, who will make a statement on the Task Force of the European Commission on Subsidiarity and Proportionality.

Strasbourg, 14 March 2018

President of CALRE meets with President of the Assembly of the Republic (Portugal)

The President of European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE) met with the President of the Assembly of the Republic (Portugal), Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, on 28 January.

During the meeting, which was held at the Assembly of the Republic premises, Ana Luís highlighted the two main factors that distinguish CALRE from other European regional cooperation bodies: CALRE gathers regions with similarities or proximity at the level of political statutes and inherent competences and also 74 regional parliaments with legislative powers.

With this in mind, the President of CALRE defended that regions should not be regarded as mere receivers, but, on the contrary, should participate in the European legislative process, according to the principle of subsidiarity.

Regarding the compliance with the principle of subsidiarity, Ana Luís highlighted the importance of continuing to develop the means of direct communication between the regional Assemblies and Parliaments of CALRE and their national parliaments.

Horta, 2 February 2018

Ana Luís meets with the President of the Committee of the Regions

The President of the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE), Ana Luís, met with the President of the Committee of the Regions, Karl-Heinz Lambertz, in Brussels.

During this first meeting with the President of the Committee of the Regions after her election as President of CALRE, Ana Luís presented the main priorities for her term, as well as revealed her interest to both reinforcing the cooperation and strengthening the relationship between the Conference and the Committee.

Ana Luís also congratulated the participation of the Committee of the Regions in the recent established Task Force on Subsidiarity and Proportionality of the European Commission and reiterated CALRE’s interest for its work and activities, presenting some solutions for the development of a common channel of communication.

The importance of Cohesion Policy in its multiple dimensions – social, economic and territorial – for the harmonious development of the European Union regions was another subject defended by Ana Luís, that highlighted the multiplicity of characteristics of the regions that belong to CALRE, such as the outermost ones, and reinforced that this diversity enriches and strengthens Europe. In this context, a formal partnership declaration on #CohesionAlliance was signed between the CALRE and the Committee of the Regions.

Brussels, 1 February 2018

Ana Luís at the Committee of the Regions

The President of the Conference of European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE), Ana Luís, participated in a meeting organized by the Committee of the Regions, which gathered the First Vice-President of the European Commission, the President of the Committee of the Regions and also Presidents and representatives of the several European Regional Associations. The meeting was held in Brussels.

At the meeting, which focused primarily on the European Commission’s Work Programme for 2018, Ana Luís highlighted the importance of the role of the regions for European construction, not only because their characteristics enable them to offer an essential contribution, but also because, and specially in what concerns the regions with legislative powers, such as the ones belonging to CALRE, they represent the people’s will and, therefore, participate actively in the implementation and application of European rules and policies in their territories.

During her speech, the President of CALRE also defended Cohesion Policy and its indispensability for the success of the European project, underlining that it “must be the main investment policy of the European Union (EU) for all regions and must also be equipped with sufficient resources after 2020 and, at least, in the same proportion compared with the current total budget of the Union”. In this regard, the President of CALRE stated that the EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework must take into consideration a clear reinforcement of the Union budget and if that does not happen, a budget reduction for the Cohesion Policy can never be accepted.

Ana Luís concluded reiterating that, in the actual context and having in sight the financial perspectives of the Union and its sectoral policies for the post 2020, it is essential to “continue to reinforce the role of the Regional Legislative Assemblies of the European Union Member States to ensure the necessary involvement of the regions in all the matters in which binding decisions are approved and implemented”.

31 January, 2018

The President of the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of the Azores takes over the CALRE Presidency

 
The President of the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of the Azores takes over the CALRE Presidency.
The Power Transfer Ceremony of the Conference of the European Regional Legislative Assemblies (CALRE) was held today, at the Azorean Parliament, in Horta.
Ana Luís received from the hands of the former CALRE President and President of the Parliament of Andalusia, Juan Pablo Durán Sánchez, the Makila baton, the symbol of the power transfer from the CALRE’s outgoing President to the incoming occupant of the position.
On the occasion, Ana Luís referred that “The main goal is to continue with the work developed by the previous Presidencies, focusing our action on the contribution of the Regions for the elaboration of European legislation, since they are the regional and local authorities which better know their region and their people. (…) Thus, we must have the capability of restoring their trust in political institutions throughout, for example, greater transparency to the exercise of our functions, the use of new technologies or studies about the political impact in their lives, this way bringing together the citizens and the decision-making centres and increasing their involvement in political life, also raising their awareness for the benefits of being part of the European Union.” thus assuring the importance of the CALRE, not only for the knowledge and relationship between the European Regional Assemblies and Parliaments, but also for the projection of the regions’ voice throughout Europe and in order to defend the interests of its citizens, pointing out that the Regional Assemblies and Parliaments represent the citizens and are closer to them, being, therefore, more aware of their needs.
The President of the Azorean Parliament was unanimously elected President of the CALRE on the Plenary Assembly of the Conference, which was held last November at the Parliament of Andalusia.
Juan Pablo Durán Sánchez, the outgoing President, takes on the Vice-Presidency of the CALRE for 2018.


Horta, 24 January 2018

3rd EDITION OF CALRE AWARD "STARS OF EUROPE"
HAS BEEN LAUNCHED!

It is opened the call for the third edition of the CALRE Award "Stars of Europe", which aims to bring out best practices and initiatives adopted by the European Regional Assemblies which are members of CALRE, that are concretely improving an aspect or sector of the economic, cultural and social life of their territories and  communities, while underlining the positive impact of the European Institutions in regional realities. Enter the contest!
WORKING GROUPS NEWS
2018 CALRE Working Groups' Activity Programme have been presented by the Working Groups' coordinators at the First Standing Committee.
 

The Coordinator of the CALRE Working Group on Depopulation and Ageing and President of Cortes de Castilla y León, Silvia Clemente, meets local agents in order to elaborate a strategy addressed to face depopulation and ageing in EU regions.
 

Silvia Clemente, took part in a meeting with 100 local mayors and economic agents based in the province of Segovia in order to share with them real needs present in rural areas and good practices to face depopulation and ageing at territorial level.

There it was highlighted the need to encourage endogenous resources of rural areas to face depopulation and ageing.

This was the first of a series of meetings, which will be held in the nine provinces comprising Castilla y León.

The main target is to recollect all needs present in the territory as well as good practices developed in order to contribute to elaborate a strategy to tackle depopulation and ageing at European regional level.

Currently, we are at a key moment to stablish a global European strategy to face depopulation and ageing, because next 2nd May the European Commission will present the proposal for next multiannual financial programming period post 2020.

And, as the Coordinator of the Group, Silvia Clemente, has announced the CALRE Working Group on Depopulation will work in a position paper based on this proposal from the point of view of depopulation and ageing.

Segovia, 4 April 2018

NEWS FROM LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLIES
The new President of the Regional Council of Lombardy has been appointed
 
  
Alessandro Fermi, 43 years old, from Como, is new President of the Regional Council of Lombardy. He comes from Forza Italia party and he has been elected with over 8.600 votes. In the previous legislature, he was Undersecretary for programme implementation, national institutional relations and international affairs. On April 5th 2018, he has been elected by the Regional Council of Lombardy, on the fourth round with 55 votes.

Autonomy, dignity to politics, simple laws and procedures, capacity to listen and to give voice to the territories. Those are the cornerstones of Fermi work programme, as he illustrated during his opening speech of the Regional Council XI legislature. In this occasion, he also announced the institution of a special Council committee for Regional Autonomy.

 
 
Francesca Brianza (Lega Lombarda Salvini), Minister of Post Expo, Metropolitan City, Autonomy and Social Inclusion Income, and Carlo Borghetti (Partito Democratico), outgoing Regional Councillor, have been elected as Vice-Presidents of the Regional Council of Lombardy.

Giovanni Malanchini (Lega Lombarda Salvini) and Dario Violi (M5Stelle), outgoing regional councillor have been appointed as Secretary Councillors.

The outoging President of the Regional Council of Lombardy, Raffaele Cattaneo, has been appointed as Minister of Climate and Environment.

The Parliament of Andalusia shows its support to the firefighters of the NGO PROEMAID who will be judged for their rescue tasks in Lesbos
 

 
The Plenary of the Parliament of Andalusia expressed in plenary session on March 22, its "strongest support and solidarity" to the three Sevillian firefighters who were arrested in January 2016 on the island of Lesbos by the Greek Coast Guard when they were serving as volunteers of the Proem-AID association, refugee rescue tasks, which will be judged on May 7 in Mytilene, the capital of that Greek island.
The Autonomous Chamber has expressed its unanimous support to these firefighters, Manuel Blanco, José Enrique Rodríguez and Julio Latorre, in an institutional declaration of solidarity and support for them, agreed by the five parliamentary groups and read by the President of Parliament, Juan Pablo Durán.
The Parliament of Andalusia receives the visit of the Commission on the Environment, Climate Protection, Agriculture of Hesse

The Parliament of Andalusia received on March 14 the visit of the Minister of Environment, Climate Protection, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of Hesse (Germany), Priska Hinz, the President of the Commission on this matter in the Parliament of Hesse , Ursula Hammann, and the MPs from the Commission.

After the greeting of the president of the Andalusian Parliament, the minister and the members of the Commission of Hesse met with the MPs of the Andalusian Parliament, with the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development of the Junta de Andalucía, Rodrigo Sánchez Haro, and with the Minister of Environment and Territory Planning of the Junta de Andalucía, José Fiscal.

The Regional Assembly of Murcia: International Woman's Day
As every year, 8th March, International Woman's Day, becomes a leisure day for claiming. The Assembly paid tribute to the XX Century Women, all those fighting women for a gender equality.
 
Link: 
www.asambleamurcia.es/noticias/20180307/370771
Parliament of Wallonia: Organisation of a citizens’ panel on young people in Wallonia

As an integral part of the movement to renovate the mechanisms of representative democracy, the Parliament of Wallonia has decided to involve citizens in a process of political deliberation on issues affecting young people (aged 18 to 30) in Wallonia, with a horizon of 2025-2045, via a citizens’ panel.

About 30 citizens selected from the Walloon population in a survey, half of whom were young people aged under 30, met for the first time at the Parliament on 3 March 2018.
Four meetings were held between 3 and 24 March 2018.

They dealt with issues linked to education, employment, mobility, accommodation and international capacity with a view to sustainable development.

The intention was to create real dialogue with elected representatives and to strengthen links between citizens and their elected representatives. Specifically, from a citizen’s point of view, the meetings made it possible for them to understand and properly assess young people’s issues in the development of Walloon society and to pass on messages and key ideas to the political world (Walloon MPs and the Walloon government), which showed itself ready to listen and engage in dialogue. The task consisted of drawing up this message in the form of a consensus declaration.

The consensus declaration was presented to the political groups and the Walloon government on 21 April.

The Assembly of Extremadura Supporting Missing Persons
The jury of the third edition of the 9 of March Awards, an event organised by the European Foundation for Missing Persons (QSD Global), has given the Assembly of Extremadura the award for Best Institutional Action for their “message of union and political consensus to raise awareness and call for progress in missing persons investigations". The jury for this award valued the fact that on day 9 of every month the Assembly convened at the gates of the institution to observe a minute's silence in memory of the people missing in the region and to show their support tothe relatives.
The President of the Assembly stressed this “message of union and political consensus" to raise awareness and call for progress in missing persons investigations, and considered making visible the causes of the disappearances on a regular basis of the utmost importance.
 

 
The Operations Unit (UCO) of the Spanish Civil Guard, the rescue dog association Ucas of Arrate, the head of the Crimes Against Persons Unit of the Central Department of Criminal Investigation and Prosecution of the Basque regional police and La Razón journalist, Belén Tobalina, were also awarded in this event.
More information: www.asambleaex.es/noticias-3804
 
" Gender Equality. A debate for everyone" Was the theme of the Young People´s Parliament of Azores 2018

“I hope you may remember this experience as the beginning of a civic and active participation on behalf of our Region”, stated Ana Luís during the Regional Session of Young People’s Parliament, which took place on 5 and 6 March, at the seat of the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of the Azores, and addressed to elementary and secondary school students from Azorean schools and whose theme was gender equality.

The President of the Azorean Parliament reminded the young Azoreans that gender equality is intrinsically linked to citizenship, since it involves rights, but also duties, reason why we should all, individually, develop positive actions based on solidarity and respect for the other. “The message for all of you is that, as young people who think differently and act in a very special way, you allow the word equality to be used in full, so that your time shall be the time when a true change in mentality in what concerns gender equality occurs”, concluded President Ana Luís.

Escola Secundária Antero de Quental (São Miguel), Escola Secundária Vitorino Nemésio (Terceira), Escola Básica e Secundária Cardeal Costa Nunes (Pico) and Escola Básica e Secundária de Vila Franca do Campo (S Miguel) were elected to represent the Autonomous Region of the Azores in the Elementary Schools National Session of Young People’s Parliament. Frederica Pacheco, from Escola Secundária Antero de Quental, was elected spokesperson and for the next edition of Young People’s Parliament she will suggest the theme “fight against environmental issues”, presented by Escola Básica e Secundária Padre Maurício de Freitas (Flores).

The Autonomous Region of the Azores will be represented by Escola Básica e Secundária de Vila Franca do Campo (São Miguel), Escola Secundária Vitorino Nemésio (Terceira), Escola Secundária Tomás de Borba (Terceira) and Escola Básica e Secundária da Graciosa (Graciosa) in the Secondary Schools National Session of Young People’s Parliament. The spokesperson of the National Session is Ana Fagundes, from Escola Secundária Vitorino Nemésio.

All the measures presented by the young deputies from elementary and secondary schools are available at the Legislative Assembly website www.alra.pt.

Legislative Assembly of Azores Internal Emergency Plan

The Internal Emergency Plan of the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of the Azores was approved, at the Bureau meeting, and aims at preparing and organising the existing means, in order to guarantee the safeguard and security of people and goods.

An emergency plan foresees the elaboration of an Action Plan which establishes the rules of action in situations of risk and emergency, such as fires, earthquakes and other events that require the evacuation of the building.

These goals also include increasing awareness among employees and users to the need of knowing and adopting measures of security and self-protection in case of emergency. Thus, two drills were already carried out. The first one took place on 5 February and concerned a powerful earthquake. The second one, held on 1 March, in order to coincide with the World Civil Defence Day, was directed towards preventive measures in case of fire and had the collaboration of Faial Voluntary Fire Fighters, that visited the premises in advance to know the building, the Municipal Civil Protection Service and the Public Security Police.

Moreover, the Regional Civil Protection and Fire Service carried out two internal training initiatives, namely the Course of Training in Medical First Aid and Course of Basic Life Support with Defibrillation.

The Parliament of Galicia opens its doors to Young People
Since de beginning of 2018, the Parliament of Galicia has opened its doors and lent its seats to two debate initiatives comprised by Spanish and European youths.
 

Last February 18th, the 4th Regional Session of European Youth Parliament (EYP) was held at the parliament’s premises with the participation of students aged 15, 16 and 17. This educational project promotes both the development of independent thinking and the development of social and political initiatives. It is specially designed to adapt to the necessities of young European citizens. The president of the Galician legislative chamber, Mr. Miguel Ángel Santalices Vieira, encouraged those present to study hard throughout their educational stage in order to have a successful future guaranteed. “A good academic training”-he said-“is also essential to have a good command of oratory, in the same way that personal integrity and coherence increase the power of persuasion of an address”.

More experienced were the participants of the National Parliamentary Debate Tournament organized by Club de Debate Compostela in cooperation with the Parliament of Galicia. University students from all over Spain came to the Galician capital last March 2nd and 3rd to participate in this peer-to-peer competition so as to become the best orators of the country. This association belonging to the University of Santiago de Compostela, where veterans train new members, tries to instil in young people the importance of debating and exchanging ideas, independent of their professional career or political ideology.

The participation of the Parliament of Galicia in this type of initiatives rises from the interest of the institution in making the parliament accessible to all citizens, make them aware of the role of legislative chambers in our regions and highlight the importance of two basic social-political tools: oratory and peaceful debate. Therefore, two more events along these lines will take place before the end of this school year: Parlamento Xove and Children’s Plenary Session by Aldeas Infantiles.

The Parliament of Andalusia joins the European Year of Cultural Heritage with a photographic exhibition on the history of its seat
The Parliament of Andalusia inaugurated last February the exhibition "Parliament of Andalusia: History and rehabilitation of an icon of our heritage", which summarizes in more than sixty images the graphic testimony of the history and evolution of the former Hospital of the Five Wounds to become the current seat of the Parliament of Andalusia. Most of the images reproduced show the rehabilitation works of the building from 1987 to 1992 and had never been exposed to the public before.

The Parliament of Andalusia has had four seats since its establishment in 1982, being the former Hospital of the Five Wounds its permanent seat since 1992. The building, dating from the sixteenth century, maintained its activity as hospital until 1972. The rehabilitation works to host the Parliament of Andalusia began in 1986, inaugurating the headquarters, which respects the original construction, on February 28, 1992, on the Day of the Region.

The Hospital of the Five Wounds is one of the main references of the historical and architectural heritage of Seville and Andalusia, and with this exhibition, the Parliament of Andalusia joins the events for the European Year of Cultural Heritage, in order to promote the valuation and knowledge of its headquarters as a patrimonial reference, with special attention to its architecture.

In this sense, the president of the Parliament of Andalusia, Juan Pablo Durán, transferred his recognition, congratulations and gratitude to all the workers, architects, archaeologists and people in charge of the works, that managed to consolidate in full the ancient constructions of the monument; return their character to courtyards and galleries; provide work spaces and access to current comfort and safety requirements; and provide the building with adequate facilities for its proper functioning as the seat of the Andalusian Legislative.

Legislative Assembly of Azores welcomes the iniciative "Small Citiziens on the Island"

Between January and May 2018, the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of the Azores welcomed 250 young children under the initiative “Small citizens on the island”, organised by Escola Básica Integrada da Horta.

Aimed at all pre-school children on Faial Island, from 3 to 5 years old, this project meets the programme “Parlamento Presente”, whose goal is to establish a close relationship between the Azorean Parliament and the community, focusing on education towards citizenship and on training responsible, independent and solidary children.

The initiative “Small citizens on the island” consists of a tour visit to the premises of the Azorean Parliament, properly adapted according to the age of the participants, during which several educational initiatives, such as painting, educational games and a multimedia presentation, are carried out, ending with a snack offered to all the participating students. The first study visits took place on 11-12 January and were attended by the classes from Escola António José Ávila.

The Parliament of Andalusia declares itself "zero institution": zero inequalities, zero discrimination
The Parliament of Andalusia has declared itself "zero institution": zero inequalities, zero discrimination, during the presentation of the "Start from zero" campaign, from the Secretariado Gitano Foundation, which promotes the equality of Romani people and the fight against discrimination. In this way, Parliament is committed to increasing efforts to build a more just society with the same opportunities, in addition to disseminating and recognizing the contribution of the Romani culture to the Andalusian culture.
 

This was advanced by the president of the Parliament of Andalusia, Juan Pablo Durán, at the presentation ceremony of the "Start from zero" campaign, together with the territorial director of the Secretariado Gitano Foundation en Andalucía, Juan Reyes, who pointed out that the objective is to raise awareness to Spanish society about the inequality and discrimination that the Romani community still suffers.

Durán said that public institutions should not only give an example to citizens, they should also guarantee "the promotion of the necessary conditions for the full integration of minorities and, especially, of the Roma community for their full social incorporation".

To this regard, he encouraged all the cities and towns of Andalusia to declare themselves as "Cero City", as the Secretariado Gitano Foundation demands with this campaign, and acquire a clear and resounding commitment to implement policies so that no one leaves with disadvantage for reasons of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or religion.

The Regional Assembly of Murcia condemns every men's murder with a huge white ribbon hanging from its façade against gender violence. 
The Murcian Parlament, furthermore, commemorate on the 25th November, the International Day against Gender Violence, with an emotional event honouring murdered women.
 
CALRE AGENDA

2018 ACTIVTY SCHEDULE
 
15 March | 1st Standing Committee | Brussels (Belgium)
28 June | 2nd Standing Committee | Brussels (Belgium)
20 November | 3rd Standing Committe | Horta (Azores)
21-22 November | Plenary Session |
Horta (Azores)
 
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CALRE Newsletter
Issue n. 1, April 2018