A major purpose is the promotion of an international awareness about cross-border cooperation (CBC), highlighting specific problems, opportunities and tasks of border and CB regions. To this end, AEBR stimulates the exchange of experiences to coordinate and formulate common interests out of the variety of CB circumstances, and offer solutions. It represents these interests towards European and international institutions, informs regularly border authorities and the general public in a targeted way on CB issues, and organises and carries out thematic events and other activities on CBC. AEBR initiates, coordinates, and supports co-operation between European border regions (and beyond).
Martina Möllering, AEBR Secretariat / Martín Guillermo Ramírez, Secretary General
Enscheder Str. 362, D-48599 Gronau (Germany)
Role of the institution regarding cross-border issues
It has been involved in the development of major milestones in European CBC. The 1st one might be the foundation of pioneer euroregions at the end of the fifties and the sixties. They met under the Council of Europe (CoE) to create AEBR in 1971. Since then, CB structures are AEBR’s backbone, while border regional executives are its political arm. The CoE’s support to AEBR in addressing major needs of subnational authorities led to the opening of the Madrid Outline Convention for signature in 1980, considered the 2nd milestone. AEBR was also involved in the preparation of the 3rd and 4th ones (Interreg, implemented since 1990, and the EGTC regulation of 2006). And, currently, the Association advocates for the European Cross-Border Mechanism (the 5th milestone?) proposed by the European Commission in 2018, in collaboration with other European networks and organisations under the European Cross-Border Citizens’ Alliance.
References regarding cross-border issues
AEBR is not an educational institution, but it does many training activities (thematic workshops, webinars, etc.). Among the latest:
- Online seminar on SMEs in Border Regions, with the Commission’s DG Grow and EURADA. 4 February 2021
- Online Forum on CBC in IPA countries. Challenges in times of COVID-19. 26 August 2020
- Online Forum New Borders vs New Opportunities, 5 June 2020
- Apart from regular events in Europe, AEBR Global Initiative has already implemented dozens of seminars in various cross-border areas in Latin America
Research / Applied research
AEBR is not a research institution, but it implements projects, such as the following:
- Interreg Volunteer Youth (IVY) has deployed almost 600 young people in Interreg projects and programmes since 2017 in the EU and EFTA, IPA and ENI countries (DG Regio grant)
- b-solutions has identified eighty CB legal and administrative obstacles and proposes possible solutions (DG Regio grant)
- Identification and analysis of CB patients flows in selected CB areas, for DG Santé
Consulting / Studies
- AEBR-DG Regio (2020) b-solutions: Solving Border Obstacles – A Compendium of 43 Cases: Compendium and Annex with the summaries of the 43 first cases.
- INPANDES, Elaboration of a Cross-Border Strategy for the Andean Community (2017)
- EULAC-EUREGIO (CBRIS) EU-Latin American Cooperation on Cross-Border (Brazil-Peru) Regional Innovation Systems in the Framework of Regional Policy (2015). Final Report in EN and ES
- Annual Conference and Cross-Border School 2020: The future of Europe from the perspective of border regions. Thematic issues of the CBS: CB spatial planning, CB culture, CB labour market and CB regions in COVID times. 4-6 November (online)
- AC and CBS 2019 on CB Culture Cooperation and the Culture of CBC: Trust Building, Joint Thinking and Doing. Dresden, Euroregion Elbe/Labe, 23-26 October
- AC and CBS 2018, Smart CBC for European Growth – Education and Employment in CB Regions (Oulu, Bothnian Arc, 19-22 September)
Publications / conference papers
- AEBR – European Commission (2020) b-solutions: Solving Border Obstacles – A Compendium of 43 Cases. Berlin and Brussels: Compendium and Annex with the summaries of the 43 first cases.
- Bendelac, L. and Guillermo Ramírez, M. (eds.) (2019) La Cooperación Transfronteriza para el Desarrollo. Los Libros de la Catarata, IUDC-UCM, AEBR, Madrid
- Guillermo Ramírez, M. Institutionalisation of Cross-Border Cooperation: The Role of the Association of European Border Regions. In: Havlíček T.; Jeřábek, M. (eds.) Borders in Central Europe After the Schengen Agreement. Springer International Publishing AG, Cham, 2018
Activities in other continents
AEBR also works in other continents. AEBR Global Initiative currently implements actions within wider EU programmes in Latin America, such as EUROsociAL+, and in collaboration with European regional cooperation agencies. The focus is in various Andean borders and the Uruguay river basin. Currently there are also collaborations in Africa and Jerusalem.
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