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On Monday 23rd January 2023, EAR-AER organised its New Year’s debate about the “Benefits of Schengen for local and regional development” moderated by our President and having as guest speakers: Dr. Paul RÜBIGEESC Group 1 and EIT Governing Board, President of SME Connect, MEP Cristian-Silviu BUŞOI our Honorary Member and Chair of Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, Dr. Horst HEITZSenator of the European Economic Senate, Chair of the SME Connect Steering Committee, Henri MALOSSEour Honorary Member and 30th President of the European Economic and Social Committee and Louis DELCARTour board member and guest lecturer at VUB.

The main conclusion of the debate was that we strongly believe that better communication and continuous dialogue among local, regional, national, federal and European actors will help to take the best decision in the interest of a strong European Union, Speakers agreed that Romania and Bulgaria deserved to become members of the Schengen Area.

The meeting was continued with a New Year’s reception enabling all attendees to get acquainted with each other and to taste Romanian and Flemish products. 

We thank the guest speakers, the participants of 10 different nationalities, the Government of Flanders, SME Connect and the European Economic Senate for their support and presence.