European Union

European Parliament

AEBR keeps close contacts with Members of Parliament, Committees and the Secretariat of the European Parliament. These efforts have led to practical results:

  • a specific EU budget line for cross-border co-operation (1987) and the amendment of Article 10 of the European Regional Funds (ERF), both of which allowed the implementation of pilot projects in the area of cross-border co-operationsupport to the INTERREG Initiative, PHARE CBC, TACIS CBC, MEDA and CARDS;
  • development of a EU regional policy that covers border regions all across Europe;
  • study about cross-border and inter-regional co-operation (1996);
  • hearing of AEBR on issues relating to INTERREG I, II A, IIIA and IV;
  • EGTC;
  • Nomination of a "follower" on cross-border cooperation.

The AEBR also mobilized the Parliament towards the introduction of Cross-Border Cooperation as a regular topic in the agenda, particularly at the REGI Committee, and the nomination of a suiveur on cross-border issues. AEBR is regularly represented in the meetings of the Committee on Regional Development.


European Commission

This was taken into account by putting into place

  • a new Regional Policy, including the establishment of the EU regional funds, which also facilitates cross-border co-operation;
  • the European Community Initiative INTERREG, in close co-operation with AEBR;
  • special programmes, such as PHARE CBC for the associated countries (1994), and TACIS CBC for border areas in Russia, Belarus, the Ukraine and Moldova (1996);
  • the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP), which contains a particular section on cross-border co-operation;
  • the EGTC (1 August 2006);
  • ENPI (29 November 2006) and IPA (1st January 2007);
  • the Territorial Agenda (presented in May 2007)
  • the Lisbon Treaty (entered into force on 1st December 2009 ), which contains a special reference to cross-border regions in article 174 (ex article 158 TEC);

As a European regional organization that specifically deals with cross-border co-operation, AEBR has gained an invaluable know-how, which the EU has been using for decades:

  • e.g. when developing cross-border Action Programmes (and later Operational Programmes), which, to a great extent, lie on concepts presented by AEBR in the beginning of the 1980s;
  • when setting up cross-border structures;
  • when drafting INTERREG Communications, etc.

IINTERREG III A and its most important features, such as joint programmes, cross-border structures and joint accounts were, to a great extent, based on practical experiences and proposals made by AEBR in order to ensure a better cross-border structuring of INTERREG. This fruitful co-operation had been particularly productive since the implementation of the LACE Observatory for cross-border co-operation in 1990. This project was initiated by AEBR and financially supported by the European Commission.