29 Sept 2022

Delegates from 19 EU regions in Letterkenny for major conference

Delegates from 19 EU regions in Letterkenny for major conference

More than 150 delegates from 19 regions in Europe scattered across 18 nationalities are in Letterkenny this week for a major conference.

The Assembly of European Regions (AER) Summer Academy opens its conference in the Radisson Hotel, Letterkenny, on Monday evening.

The AER is the largest independent network of regional authorities in wider Europe and brings its flagship conference to Donegal after a two year hiatus.

The event is co-hosted by Donegal County Council and Údarás na Gaeltachta.

The opening ceremony of the conference takes place on Tuesday morning with Donegal County Council Cathaoirleach, Liam Blaney, Údarás na Gaeltachta CEO, Micheál Ó hÉanaigh and Andreas Kiefer, Secretary General of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, among the speakers.

Deputy Joe McHugh TD will be joined by Donegal Youth Council’s Erin Gallagher in the first session of the conference discussing Youth and Regional Government. The day concludes with a visit to the Guildhall, where the delegation will hear from the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane, Sandra Duffy and Paddy Harte of the International Fund for Ireland, followed by a tour of the 400 year old City Walls and Peace Bridge.

The conference continues with workshops on Ukraine, creativity and innovation, entrepreneurship and the bioeconomy with study visits to Glenveagh National Park and the gteic@Gaoth Dobhair also planned. The theme is “Europe for the next generation”, focusing on how to build back better and adapt to challenges including climate change and the war in Ukraine.

Cllr Liam Blaney underlined the importance of such a poignant event visiting Donegal and the wider region for the first time. He said: This week we will see delegations from across Europe visiting the North West, many for the first time and the conference presents us with a fantastic opportunity to showcase the region and it’s many benefits. I look forward to welcoming our future European leaders to Donegal and I am proud we can host the event in what is the “European Year Of Youth”.

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