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The Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) was founded in 1971 by the first border regions which had started cross-border cooperation in Europe after the Second World War, strengthening the integration of citizens across national boundaries.

Today it counts some 100 members from the European Union and its neighbouring countries.

AEBR’s mission and work are regulated by the Statute and inspired by the European Charter for Border and Cross-Border Regions.

AEBR works on behalf of European border and cross-border regions with the aim to:

  • highlight their role in the political landscape;
  • represent their common interests;
  • enhance cooperation between border regions throughout Europe;
  • promote exchanges of experiences, information and solutions to common obstacles.

Border regions face specific challenges because of their particular geographic position – a long distance from their country’s economic and political heartland, which often results in poor infrastructure, fewer public services and goods provision. In these territories, cross-border cooperation is essential, mainly because it is very often crucial to keep value chains, labour market, and other economic and social lifelines.

By cooperating with their neighbouring territories, border regions can offer their citizens services and possibilities from a 360-degree perspective.

For these reasons, border regions have specific opportunities, responsibilities and activities in the political landscape. AEBR works with them to help local and regional authorities best utilise these opportunities.

As the only Europe-wide organisation representing border and cross-border regions, AEBR is an essential political instrument. At the same time, AEBR acts as a fundamental platform to promote and advise local, regional, national and European policymakers on cross-border cooperation-related issues.

AEBR also represents border regions in wider European platforms to promote European cohesion, subsidiarity and partnership. Furthermore, it has recently supported the development of a broader cross-border alliance with other networks such as the French MOT and the Hungarian CESCI to coordinate their work better. Read the Strasbourg Declaration, signed by the three organisations on 7 October 2021 at the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg.

For its unique role, AEBR is necessary to:

  • strengthening and developing further cross-border cooperation; and
  • enhancing bottom-up European integration while guaranteeing regional diversity.

AEBR implements its vision and mission through its organisation.

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