On February 27th, 2009, the Lombardy Region took over from Baden-Württemberg the Presidency of the Association.
During the political meeting held in Milan, the Presidents of the partner Regions approved a Joint Declaration announcing the Four Motors' strategies for the co-operation in the political and economic scenario over the next few years.
The priorities were identified in the support to: research and innovation, small and medium enterprises with special reference to the measures for access to credit and investments, environmental protection and promotion of the green economy, commitment to education and development of human capital.
The Presidents of Four Motors for Europe also shared and signed a Declaration of intent for the definition of joint activities in view of the Universal Exposition that will be held in Milan in 2015 and whose theme is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”. The Presidents expressed their full consent to establish specific collaborations in the sectors of research and innovation, renewable energy resources and sustainable development and nutrition culture.
The Lombardy Region brought the petitions shared during the changeover to the Lombard Presidency to the attention of the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso.
On November 30th, 2009, the political Task Force of the Four Motors for Europe met in Stuttgart.
At the political level, the Task Force meeting included the participation of: Claudio Morpurgo - Presidential Delegate of the Region of Lombardy for Relations with European Union States, Josep-Lluis Carod-Rovira - Vice President of Catalonia, Jean Besson – Vice President of Rhône-Alpes and Wolfgang Reinhart - Minister for Federal and European Affairs of Baden-Württemberg.
The program of the Lombard Presidency was structured around following areas:
1) Policy comparison in those fields where the Four Motors Regions have achieved significant innovations;
2) Strengthening the international collaborations of the Four Motors;
3) Fostering the Four Motors actions in the field of development cooperation.
Baden-Württemberg took over the presidency of the Four Motors for Europe from Rhône-Alpes on 05 March 2007. At the official ceremony to hand over the presidency, Minister President Günther H. Oettinger and Europe Minister Willi Stächele called the Four Motors for Europe a model for the development of a Europe of the Regions“, which benefited Europe as a whole.
In future cooperation, the Four Motors for Europe prioritise the further strengthening of their economic, scientific and technological competitiveness in an interconnected global context. Besides working for a Europe of the Regions based on subsidiarity, political initiatives at the European level, and joint foreign trade missions, they attach particular importance to expanding their leading role in the Lisbon Process.
The goal of the Baden-Württemberg presidency is to fill these priorities with life through practical projects. In addition, the Four Motor cooperation will focus even more firmly on European support programmes, notably the 7th Research Framework Programme, INTERREG Strand B “Transnational Cooperation“, structural support and educational programmes. Besides cooperative activities in higher education, schools and vocational training, culture and environmental protection, Baden-Württemberg will propose a number of new areas of cooperation in the field of culture and media, e-government, environmental education and sustainable development.