Shortly after the Second World War, already in the 1950s, representatives of numerous European border areas got together in order to discuss the dismantling of border barriers and the possibilities for cross-border cooperation. This process had been developed parallel to the process of European integration.
They soon discovered, however, that due to the lack of legal and administrative competence, individual activities would only have poor success. Consequently, they began to establish regional associations on either side of the borders, all of them subject to the relevant national legislation, which covered areas of common concern and aimed to improve cross-border cooperation. In many cases, some of those regional associations joined together to form a cross-border umbrella association (a euroregion or similar structure). From the 1960s to date they have, at all political and administrative levels, persistently pursued a policy of improving the socio-cultural and economic situation for the people living in the border areas and of alleviating or eliminating border barriers.
The idea of setting up a European association, or “union for border regions”, was at first discussed in 1965 at the International Regional Planning Conference in Basel.
Following intensive preparatory work, 10 border regions
set up a Standing Conference of European Border Regions on 17-18 June 1971 at Anholt Castle (EUREGIO
). Alfred Mozer
was elected President and Georg Wiek became its Secretary.
The Conference chose to call itself the “Association of European Border Regions (AEBR)”.
Further information can be found in the section “History of AEBR
” and in AEBR’s publication “Cooperation of European Border Regions – Review and Perspectives”, published in 2008 (order form for download