Mobility, environment, culture, identity & multilingualism – borderless in Europe?
Online Forum from the Franco-German border in Strasbourg-Kehl
What kind of borders citizens of cross-border regions want for the future Europe? At the European level, current discussions evolve around different border regimes, EU border policies, cross-border cooperation as the driver of European integration and social as well as economic considerations of open or closed borders. At the local level, there are questions about the role of borders in citizens’ daily life, cultural borders and potentials but also challenges of cross-border cooperation.
To find an answers to the questions mentioned above, the conclusive event of the TEIN4Citizens project tackled four different topics relevant for the daily life of citizens living in cross-border areas in different online workshops.
The 8 online workshops of the Citizen Dialogue in the Eurodistrict, led by the Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau and the Euro-Institut in the framework of the TEIN4Citizens project, took place from 13 to 16 April 2021. The more than 60 citizens welcomed throughout the event were able to share their opinions, expectations as well as numerous ideas for improvementon a local, national and European scale in the fields of identity & plurilingualism, culture, mobility and the environment.
Very concrete demands and proposals emerged from the lively and determined exchanges that took place. These included
the standardisation of public transport fares and
the creation of an application allowing easy booking of tickets on both sides of the Rhine at attractive prices,
the creation of cross-border energy cooperatives and
more direct access to multilingual newspapers and films.
Many participants also want
better language training in schools and
the continued promotion of foreign languages from primary school onwards.
The majority of the citizens also wish to be
better informed about what is happening in the Eurodistrict on both sides of the border,
expressed the wish for better communication and
asked for a better cross-border networking of the actors.
The results of these citizens’ workshops were then collected, presented and discussed during the closing round table, moderated by Anne Thevenet, Deputy Director of the Euro-Institute, which took place online on 22 April 2021. Nearly 100 participants attended the exchanges between local/regional and European elected representatives. The President of the Eurodistrict, Frank Scherer, the Vice-President of the Eurodistrict and Mayor of Strasbourg, Jeanne Barseghian, as well as Anne Sander, Member of the European Parliament, Nathalie Verschelde from the European Commission, Josha Frey, member of the Landtag of Baden-Württemberg, Vice-President of the Upper Rhine Council and the Euro-Institute, Anthony Soares from the Centre for Cross Border Studies Northern Ireland and Thomas Richomme, student at Sciences Po in Strasbourg discussed how the different demands of the citizens can be implemented in the corresponding political levels.
Here you can review the programme of the Round table ➡️ Programme
The full results of all thematic workshops and the Franco-German citizens’ dialogue round table will be compiled by the Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau and the Euro-Institut in a final report. It will then be submitted to the Eurodistrict Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission as recommendations for concrete actions.
The round table discussion has also been recorded and is available via the following link.
To get a quick overview of the forum and its debates, take a look at this video in which you will find an explanation of the situation at the Franco-German border, a presentation of the results of the forum and an interview with Anne Hofmann from the Euro-Institut who organized the forum!