RFO 'Change on Borders' (2003-2007)

Project title: RFO 'Change on Borders' (2003-2007) - INTERREG IIIC Regional Framework Operation (RFO) “Change on Borders”: Exchanging know-how and transferring experience among border in Europe”
Project starting date: 11-2003
Project end date: 10-2007
Project duration: 48 months
Total Budget: 8.2 m EUR
EU funding: 4.9 m EUR

Activities of the RFO:

Thematic Forums (TF)

The Thematic Forums were set up to achieve a sustainable cooperation process at the level of each theme. The objectives were to exchange theme-related experience and to identify best-practice examples on cross-border issues. Furthermore, the outputs of the TFs were used to design practical policy approaches and concepts for border-regions.

For each Thematic Forum at least two meetings per year were held in different Main Partner regions.

Main themes of cooperation in “Change on Borders”:

“Change on Borders” consisted of 3 thematic themes with three constant related sub-themes. They provided the structure for the cooperation.

Promoting an integrated, well coordinated and environmentally friendly development of cross-border areas

  1. Cooperation among regions with similar geographical features
  2. Governance in border regions
  3. Environmentally friendly development & water management

Further development of the economic fabric and of the labour market in (cross-) border regions

  1. Development of SMEs, R&D and innovation in border regions
  2. Cross-border labour market development
  3. Tourism development in border regions

Promoting the socio-cultural integration between border regions and support closer contacts among individual citizens

  1. Strengthening of social cohesion in border regions
  2. Training, education and cross-border mobility
  3. Culture, media & people-to-people activities

Sub-theme Working Groups (SWG)

The three related sub-themes formed the framework for the RFO internal projects, the Sub-theme Working Groups (SWG).

In SWGs, a limited number of Partner Regions worked together on specific cross-border questions. The aim was to find solutions for the specific problems of border-regions. Through SWGs, for example, cooperation methods for cross-border regions or practical cross-border policy approaches were developed. Furthermore SWGs provided the opportunity to organise study visits or staff exchanges in order to improve the know-how transfer. In addition SWGs enabled the realisation of cross-border pilot actions. List of the SWGs:


  • “Trans-EA” - Efficiency assessment of cross-border transport infrastructure
  • “CrossSIS” - Cross-border Spatial Information Systems with High Added Value
  • “REGBOUR” - Euregio and New Neighbourhood
  • “River Cross” - Many Rivers to cross
  • “Working in Networks (WIN)" - Knowledge and Technology Transfer in Cross Border  Life Science Regions
  • “Knowledge Roadmap" - Cross-border co-operation for knowledge based development: Towards a Roadmap
  • “B2S2B" - New concepts and processes for the whole innovation value chain in a cross-border environment
  • “SEP” - Strengthening economic potentials at border regions by the means of cross-border business parks
  • “Labour Market" - Labour market move possibilities across borders in Europe
  • “Rhine Bicycle Path" - Communication and Marketing concept for the Rhine from the Spring to the Estuary
  • “MENT" - The Memory Environment and Tradition trails on Borders
  • “LABS” - Language Bridges
  • Telemedicine and eHealth in cross-border hospital co-operation and health care
  • “Y4I”- Youth for Innovation
  • “MEB" - Multicultural Education on Borders


25 border-regions of the NUTS I and II - level from 15 European countries participate in the RFO

1        Lead Partner Region: North Rhine-Westphalia (DE)
2        South Aegean Region (GR)
4        Region of Navarra (ES)
5        Region of Andalucia (ES)
7        Bavaria (DE)
8        Region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia (IT)
9        Lower Austria (AT)
10      Upper Austria (AT)
11      Province of Gelderland (NL)
12      Province of Limburg (NL)
13      Province of Overijssel (NL)
14      North Karelia / East Finland (FI)
15      Saxony (DE)
16      Värmland (SE)
17      Lower Saxony (DE)
18      Lublin (PL)
19      Slovenia (SI)
20      Euroregion Nenumas (LT)
21      East Macedonia-Thrace (GR)
22      Regio Basiliensis (CH)
23      Autonomous Province of Bolzano/Bozen (IT)
25      Euroregion Nisa (CZ)
26      Alsace (FR)
27      Hajdu-Bihar (HU)
28      Rhone-Alps (FR)

With “Change on Borders” for the first time such a large number of regions committed themselves to working together in a RFO.

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