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TERRITORIAL COOPERATION : FIRST EXAMPLES FOR COOPERATION PROJECTS.

LILLE-KORTRIJK-TOURNAI

The Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai Eurometropolis (France-Belgium) made the first move, becoming the first officially established European Grouping for Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) on 28 January 2008. On that date, neither France nor Belgium had yet adopted the national provisions required for the creation of such groupings (Belgium still has not done so). Fourteen partners - four in France (state, region, North Department and the Urban Community of Lille Metropole) and ten in Belgium (state, regions, Flemish and French communities, provinces and intermunicipalities) - are involved in this megastructure situated at the heart of the Brussels-Paris-London triangle. The Eurometropolis covers the territory of 145 Belgian and French municipalities with a total of over two million inhabitants. Its seat is in Lille.

ISTER-GRANUM

This EGTC - the first example in Central Europe - came into existence on 6 May 2008 and covers the territory of 47 local authorities in Hungary and 39 in Slovakia. Here too, the European grouping was created after several years' experience in cooperation. The EGTC is expected to implement around 20 common projects, particularly in health care, the media, tourism and transport infrastructures (eg the renovation-construction of a number of bridges on the Danube). Its seat is in Esztergom, in Hungary. Only local and regional authorities are involved; the state is not a partner.

DUERO-DOURO

This project covers 175 municipalities in Spain and Portugal. The convention establishing the EGTC was signed on 29 April 2008. Formally, it is still awaiting the approval of the states concerned. The seat of the EGTC is in Trabanca, in the Spanish province of Salamanca. It will manage cooperation projects which may or may not be financed by EU Structural Funds, in education and training, tourism, transport, new technologies and culture, among other areas. Only the local authorities are involved; the state is not a partner.

Further information on the EGTCs is available at www.cor.europa.eu/egtc.htm

Other projects under consideration or in the planning stage(1)

- Matriosca (Austria-Italy-Hungary-Slovenia-Croatia-Serbia), covering the Alpes-Adria-Pannonia Euroregion

- Pro Europa Viadrina (Germany-Poland), covering the Euroregion of the same name

- Euranest (Belgium-France-Italy-Switzerland), currently a network of local communities focusing on the development of sports activities. The tasks of the EGTC being considered would include the development of training actions on sports themes, recreation and the environment, and the development of common projects such as candidacies for major events.

- Alzette-Belval (France-Luxembourg), which will involve four municipalities in Luxembourg and eight in France. A statement of intent for the creation of an EGTC was signed in March 2007 on the basis of a joint work programme focusing on mobility, economic development and cross-border spatial planning.

- West Flanders-Dunkerque-Cote d'Opale (France-Belgium): an agreement in principle for the establishment of an EGTC was signed in November 2007.

- Pyrenees-Mediterranean (France-Spain): this EGTC would be composed of the Midi-Pyrenees and Languedoc-Roussillon regions, together with the autonomous communities of Catalonia, Aragon and the Balearic Islands.

-Alps-Mediterranean (France-Italy): three Italian regions (Liguria, Piedmont, Val d'Aoste) and two French regions (Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur and Rhone-Alpes) would team up to work on accessibility-transport, innovation and research environment and risk prevention, quality of life and sustainable development, culture and tourism, and education and training.

- Eixo Atlantico (Spain-Portugal), currently a network of cities in Galicia (Spain) and northern Portugal

- Sarrebruck-Moselle (France-Germany)

- Oderland-Nadodrze (Germany-Poland-Czech Republic), which will formalise a cooperation that currently has no legal statute in the fields of tourism, culture, enhancement of infrastructure and economic development.

- Strasbourg-Kehl (France-Germany)

(1) aFor a more complete picture see: INTERACT Handbook on the European Grouping for Territorial Cooperation, available at www.interact-eu.net
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Publication:European Report
Geographic Code:4EUBL
Date:Jun 17, 2008
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