Plans are well underway for the Assembly of the European Regions (AER) conference which will see up to 100 delegates from all over Europe visiting Letterkenny over a three day period next week.
This conference which will focus on E-health, Independence and Inclusion in the 21st Century and is being hosted by Donegal County Council and will attract policy and decisions makers from a range of European countries including Sweden, Denmark, Romania, Serbia, Estonia, Portugal, the Netherlands, Turkey, Belgium and the UK.
Among the top delegates attending the conference is Mr Karsten Uno Petersen, President of the AER Committee on Social Policy and Public Health and Vice-President of Syddanmark Region of Southern Denmark (DK). He is an e-health and integrated care systems supporter and his region in Southern Denmark has centered its whole development strategy around the themes of the health and welfare economy, sustainable energy and the experience economy.
Ms Agneta Granström a County Council Commissioner responsible for Public Health at NorrbottenCounty Council in Sweden will also be in attendance. She is Vice President of the AER Social Policy & Public Health Committee and President of the AER e-health network. As a professional Community Nurse, Agnetahas wide clinical experience in primary health care and elderly health care in rural areas.
Other delegates will include President from Covasna county and the Vice-president from Arad County both in Romania, the Vice-president from Tirana in Albania, the Vice-president of Vojvodina in Serbia as well as county councillors from Jämtland, Jönköping and Värmland in Sweden and Nordjylland in Denmark. There will also be delegates from Extremadura in Estonia, Minho in Portugal, Gelderland in the Netherlands as well as Brussels and Istanbul.
The conference which takes place from the 20th to 23rdOctober is being organised by the Assembly of the European Regions which is the political voice of almost 270 European regions and Donegal County Council is the only local authority in Ireland to be a member of the assembly.
This three day conference will provide a unique opportunity to share experiences, engage with regional politicians and officers from across Europe and promote further European interregional co-operation in the field of active & healthy ageing.
Delegates will take part in a number of study visits in Donegal including visits to the Donegal Centre for Independent Living, Cara House and Letterkenny Youth and Family Service. The purpose of these visits is to showcase the work that is being done by these organisations in creating age-friendly and inclusive environments for people in Donegal.
Delegates will also meet with Donegal Youth Council to hear about the work of the Youth Council on promoting positive mental health and encouraging young people to look after their mental health. Earlier this year Donegal Youth Council received a prestigious award from the Assembly of the European Regions for their work in this area.
Michael O’hEanaigh Director of Service with Donegal County Council said that “the majority of delegates attending this conference will be visiting Donegal for the first time and it is a great opportunity to showcase what Donegal has to offer as a place to do business, a place to visit and a place to live in. Hosting this European conference also provides us with a great opportunity to raise the profile of Donegal and the North West region at a European level”.