Borders at the heart of Europe of tomorrow
On 16 June 2020, the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR), the Mission Opérationnelle Transfrontalière (MOT) and the Central European Support Service for Cross-Border Initiatives (CESCI) established the European Border Citizens' Alliance to promote cross-border cooperation along all European borders.
Europe is at a turning point. At a time where the world is going through an unprecedented crisis, the EU must adopt the budget and make political decisions for the 2021/2027 period. Faced with the rise of renationalisation tendencies, it has to prove to the citizens the added value of cooperation and integration: common policies addressing the common good.
Cross-border territories give home to 30% of the European population. Each day, 2 million commuters cross a border to reach their workplaces. They are in the front line of utilising the opportunities that open borders offer to their inhabitants and businesses. These territories are considered laboratories to prepare the transition towards new models of economic and ecological development, citizens’ involvement, crisis management and territorial cohesion. These territories are the ones where European citizens can have direct experiences on the advantages the EU brought to them. At the same time, these border citizens are the most affected by the sealing of the borders.
The crisis first caused uncoordinated border measures, uncooperative actions without assessing the consequences; but it also animated multiple forms of cooperation, and revealed cross-border interdependencies and solidarity, that now must be organised and strengthened, through European and national public policies taking full account of the particular reality of cross-border regions.
Border local and regional authorities wish to have appropriate competences, resources and accelerated procedures for themselves and their cross-border structures in order to overcome the obstacles to the implementation of their cross-border projects, as said by the Treaty of Aachen, signed between France and Germany.
We, AEBR, CESCI and MOT, propose to create an Alliance of cross-border citizens, inviting cross-border organisations throughout Europe. We will develop this Alliance from now on, and seal it during the Borders Forum organized on November 9 and 10 in Paris.
The European Commission made ambitious proposals for European Territorial Cooperation post-2020. We address the European and national authorities, requesting that the decisions to be taken in the coming days and months ensure an adequate budget and develop European policies that take into account the specificities of cross-border territories.
We call on the States to coordinate within the framework of the intergovernmental process in order to promote the challenges of territorial cooperation. We call on Germany and France to show the way ahead in the spirit of their longstanding cooperation and within the framework of their forthcoming EU presidencies, by coordinating their efforts to promote the approach defined by the Treaty of Aachen and other agreements signed between European nations to promote a coordinated development of crossborder regions.
Cross-border territories are at the heart of Europe. They are the very good detectors of crises, but also can be the resource for overcoming them, and for inventing the Europe of tomorrow where actors cooperate, vertically from the municipalities to the EU and horizontally across borders. The solidarity of nations and the European citizenship are shaped in cross-border territories and so the cohesion of Europe is at stake now!
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The Commission's public consultation on the future of transport has been launched. The consultation is available here and can be completed by September 23, 2020.//2020.06.16.
On 16 June 2020, the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR), the Mission Opérationnelle Transfrontalière (MOT) and the Central European Support Service for Cross-Border Initiatives (CESCI) established the European Border Citizens' Alliance to promote cross-border cooperation along all European borders.//2020.02.11.
Monday and Tuesday in Uzhhorod we signed a strategic cooperation memorandum addressing cross-border cooperation together with the Department of Economics and Law of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences and the Faculty of Law of the National University of Uzhhorod. The event included a scientific meeting and a training for public servants.//2019.10.24.
The AEBR organised its third Cross-Border School in Dresden with the aim to share the experiences of professionals and knowledge of academics of the cross-border cooperation field. Our association's strategic planner, Melinda Benczi, contributed to the discourse by presenting the cohesion-based strategic planning methodology of CESCI as well as conducting a simulation game on the role of individual stakeholders in cross-border development.//2019.09.30.
Today, together with the representatives of the neighbouring countries' rescue services, we discussed the conditions of the free movement of the ambulance cars across the borders. It seems that the solution is accessible in the foreseeable future, in our region, too. We should not lose any souls due to their domicile...