On Thursday 2nd December 2010, NEREUS held its bi-annual General Assembly in Brussels, at the Committee of the Regions. The event was an opportunity to reflect on the network’s actions and achievements since April, and the NEREUS General Assembly also discussed work and activities in 2011.
As Mr Bénéteau recalled in his opening speech, the work of the EO/GMES Working Group, the brochure “25 uses of GMES in the NEREUS regions”, has been a very successful initiative, which received very positive feedback from the European Insititutions. In this context, the President stressed the importance of communicating towards European Institutions as well as national level but underlined also the need for a strong presence at regional level. To this end, it is important to grow the network by attracting more European regions.
Referring to Mr Bénéteau’s speech, Ms Ayazi gave an outline of the network’s priorities for the next year. Continuing and enhancing the political dialogue with the European institutions along with consolidating and strengthening the NEREUS Working Groups were cited as key areas of focus for 2011. Special emphasis will be given to supporting ongoing activities but also to stimulating the Telecommunication and Regional Policy WGs activities. NEREUS will also mobilize the young network community, including finalising a collaboration agreement with EUROAVIA (European Association of Aerospace Students) and building an e-catalogue for higher education and training in space within the NEREUS Regions. There will also be an effort towards facilitating the mobilisation of EU-funded projects and supporting ongoing projects such as the DORIS_net Project (NEREUS officially supports the project).
Prof Alan Wells reported developments with regard to the NEREUS Strategy Consultation to the General Assembly. Mandated by the Management Board, a Task Group had reviewed the network’s strategy and consulted the members on their views via an electronic questionnaire. Based on the results, the Task Group had drawn up six recommendations in a number of pivotal areas: Advocacy, Regional Policy, Communication, Education and Training, Membership, Governance. The group proposed that NEREUS should establish itself as “the voice of European regions” for the application of space technologies, serving both as an advocate for the regions in matters of space policy and as a key source of information on space matters in Europe for its members. In order to achieve these objectives NEREUS needs to maintain and develop its political role as well as to grow in membership and develop a strong communication, education and training strategy.
An important item on the agenda was the election/reconfirmation of the mandates for the Management Board, including Treasurer and also the political mandates of President and Vice President(s). The candidates presented themselves to the General Assembly and then the election took place by secret ballot. The new mandates started on 01 January 2011 and will last for two years.
The new NEREUS Management Board as elected at this General Assembly includes:
• Mr Alain Bénéteau, Midi-Pyrénées (France) – President
• Mr Christian Bruns, Bremen (Germany) – Vice President
• Mr Alberto Cavalli, Lombardy (Italy) – Vice President
• Prof Alan Wells, East Midlands (UK) – Vice President
• Mr Pascal Goergen, Brussels Capital (Belgium)
• Prof Carlos Gomez Camacho, Andalusia (Spain)
• Mr Jorge Izquierdo, Castilla y Leon (Spain)
• Mr Krzysztof Maczewski, Mazovia (Poland)
• Ms Sonia Nicolau, Azores (Portugal)
• Mr Reinhardt Oehler, Brandenburg (Germany)
• Mr Lucio Bernardini Papalia, Basilicata (Italy)
• Mr Bernard Pouliquen, Brittany (France)
• Mr Christian Wurm, City of Vienna (Austria)
Following the General Assembly the EO/GMES WG met to discuss on the NEREUS strategy review and working group programme for 2011.