AEBR Task Force External Borders, Uzhhorod (Ukraine), 6 June 2023; endorsed by AEBR Executive Committee in Baia Mare (Maramureş, Romania) on 9 June 2023
Representatives of AEBR members at the external borders of the European Union with Ukraine, institutional partners of the MOBI project and interest groups from Ukrainian, Romanian, Hungarian and Slovakian border regions in the Carpathian and the “Upper Prut” Euroregions, based on the discussion forum organized today:
acknowledge the significant value of the Carpathian Euroregion and the “Upper Prut” pilot Euroregion, as well as other Euroregions and similar structures at the EU-UA borders, to coordinate joint responses to the challenges caused by the Russian aggression towards Ukraine;
take note of the potential of Euroregions with Ukrainian participation as an essential aid and transport corridor and to cope with the energy, food & security crises in Ukraine;
have the will to support the consolidation of cross-border cooperation (CBC) along the common border of Ukraine with the EU Member States;
support all existing EU CBC programmes, highlighting today the Carpathian area as well as successful cross-border mobility projects to implement transport corridors and logistic systems, such as the MOBI project and its continuation through mobility, small regional aviation, and clean energy initiatives;
express their wish to involve additional EU Programmes to enhance EU cooperation with even more remote regions in Ukraine;
commit to promoting a multilevel interaction experience in AEBR and other networks, Central European initiatives such as the Central European Transport Corridor (CETC), Carpathian Convention, EU Strategy for the Danube Region and the current partnership within the Three Seas Initiative, among others;
consider new feasibility for all kinds of inter-territorial, municipal, regional, and transnational cooperation, in particular CBC, in the new Ukrainian status as an EU candidate, using facilities such as the Ukrainian Law “On Transfrontier Cooperation”, which development and approval were essentially promoted by AEBR; especially taking into consideration the impact of climate change and European Green Deal challenges, Next Generation targets and Just Transition objectives.
The participants propose the following action by AEBR in the coming months:
the provision of further support and lobbying for the consolidation on the ground of existing Euroregions and new forms of CBC, such as EGTC (European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation) —or ECG (Euroregional Cooperation Groupings)—, specially oriented to the new objectives, e.g. CETC-EGTC corridor, innovation projects, etc.;
efforts to generate ideas for new and broader Interreg programmes to support EU-Ukraine cooperation and the integration of Ukraine into the European communities;
all stakeholders will work together for improved international aid and reconstruction efforts for Ukraine.
provision of consulting assistance and comprehensive support to reorganize and activate the Carpathian Euroregion and other Euroregions with Ukrainian participation under new conditions (first stage of the decentralization reform in Ukraine), with the consolidation of skilled territorial communities and a renewed administrative-territorial system at subregional (districts) and community levels;
support the initiatives of the Parliament of Ukraine to improve CBC legislation towards the harmonization with European approaches and principles, taking into account Ukraine’s current EU candidate status.