4 July 2016, Brussels: AEBR delegation meets Director General Walter Deffaa:
The Association of European Border Regions was represented by Martín Guillermo Ramírez, Secretary General of AEBR; Jens Gabbe, Chair of the AEBR Advisory Committee; Michiel Scheffer, Deputy of the Province of Gelderland and Chair of the AEBR Task Force Interreg.
Main focus of the meeting was put on the future of European Cohesion Policy, European Territorial Cooperation and Cross-Border Cooperation.
It was especially stressed the need to take these topics into account in the mid-term review of the MFF and subsequent 7th Cohesion Report, expected to be published in 2017. The AEBR is quite early (and well on time, according to Mr Deffaa) in order to include main interests of European border regions in this report.
CBC and borders are a raising issue in current and unstable times for the EU. Nationalistic approaches, Brexit, refugees, terrorism, etc. affect very deeply European integration perspectives, and the values of cross-border integration should be highlighted very strongly.
Other topics discussed were the importance of P2P projects, the impact of CBC, the need to simplify procedures and other technical issues. DG Deffaa will retire in September, and Mr Marc Lemaître will be the next DG.