• European Week of Regions and Cities 2019: Cross-Border Territories

    On 8th October 2019 several TEIN members organised a workshop in th frame of the European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC) which took place between the 7th and 10th October 2019. The topic of the workshop was an awareness for challenges which citizens engagement project often face. Therefore several speakers like Loic Delhuvenne, Anne Hofmann (Euro-Institut/TEIN), Fabienne Leloup (UCLouvain), Jean Peyrony (MOT) and Peter Ulrich presented several projects in regard of this subject. The session was moderated by Anne Thevenet (Euro-Institut/TEIN).

    In order to reduce the growing gap between EU citizens and institutions, trust has to be rebuilt, dialogue has to be strengthened and citizens have to be engaged. Especially in cross-border (CB) territories, which are directly affected by EU integration, both its benefits such as the right to free movement and remaining obstacles, citizens’ engagement has a significant role to play. Being well aware of the great challenges which initiatives of citizens’ engagement are faced with because of cultural differences (in terms of participation), languages and “types of citizens” (commuters and others just living near the border), the members and associated members of the Transfrontier Euro-Institute Network (TEIN) will present three projects.

    Firstly, the Mission Opérationnelle Transfrontalière will show how the “CB citizens’ consultations” which they co-organised in 2018 with the Institut Jacque Delors at four of the French borders, in various contexts of CB integration and governance, with particular attention to methodology, formats and tools allowed to collect citizens’ concerns, questions and, above all, proposals on the future of EU.

    Secondly, we’ll learn how a CB area can become an EU local lab for a continuous citizens’ integration. The work done by the Eurometropolis Lille/Kortrijk/Tournai with the University of Louvain – based on the CB citizens’ consultation – aims at getting people’s perceptions compared with European realities and developing a long-lasting bottom up approach to allow people to speak about, criticise and even dream of a future Europe.

    Finally, TEIN4Citizens, is a project led by the Euro-Institut and run by nine TEIN members in the framework of Europe4Citizens. Five forums, taking place in five border regions, will enable citizens not only to deepen their understanding of the EU but also to voice their opinion about current trends and EU policy making in fields, such as border security, EU citizenship & human rights protection, multilingualism & identity, civil society engagement as well as minorities & integration.

    In order to be able to stand back and learn from these experiences, our discussant will interact with the speakers and the participants in order to spur discussion about the conditions for citizens’ participation in CB Regions, the role of institutions and citizens in taking initiatives, as well as the impact and the legitimacy of such processes.

    For further information about the schedule and the presentations click here.