22.09. - 24.09.2011
Euroregion Yaroslavna


AEBR Executive Committee Meeting, General Assembly and Annual Conference 2011

Kursk, Euroregion Yaroslavna, Russian Federation
Location: Kursk, Russian Federation

The AEBR commemorates its 40th anniversary this year. Many things have happened in European border regions since the foundation at the Westphalian Anholt Castle on 17th and 18th June 1971 by ten enthusiastic border regions. It was a long way up to the present moment, where some two hundred euroregions, working communities, eurocities, eurodistricts and EGTCs stake out European boundaries within and without the EU. These structures have made their best to strengthen European integration at the most challenging scenarios in a daily basis. From Barents to the Mediterranean, and from Porto to Yerevan, European border regions have decidedly made an extraordinary input to promote territorial cohesion through their active participation in thousands of cross-border cooperation actions, projects, programmes and strategies. And this has been acknowledged by most European institutions.

Many years ago, the AEBR began to extend its membership across the EU borders. This also happened during the nineties, when many cross-border structures in the accession countries joined our Association, training themselves in European affairs, particularly on Cohesion and Territorial matters. They also learned how to implement new and existing cooperation possibilities with their neighbours in environmental issues, emergencies, cross-border transport links, innovation, etc. Most of them are very relevant actors in the new EU internal borders, and others have also promoted cross-border cooperation at the new external borders, and far beyond.

New structures have even been constituted outside the EU, being the Western boundaries of the Russian Federation a growing field for cross-border cooperation. Many euroregions have been created in its borders with the EU, but also at the Russian-Ukrainian boundary: the Euroregions Dnepr, Yaroslavna, Slobozhanschina and Donbass cover the whole border line between those two countries.

Following a strong cooperation of these euroregions with the AEBR and its Western European partners, and taking into account the support of the European institutions and the governments of the Russian Federation and Ukraine, the AEBR decided to organize its General Assembly and Annual Conference in Kursk, in the Russian side of the Euroregion Yaroslavna, from 22nd to 24th September 2011. These events will be preceded by a workshop in Moscow, organized jointly with the Russian Federal Agency for Border Issues (Rosgranitsa).

This year, the Annual Conference of the AEBR in Kursk will address the theme of

“Pan-European Cross-Border Cooperation: The European Union, the Russian Federation and the Neighbourhood and Pre-Accession countries”

You are cordially invited to take part in our Annual Conference on Thursday, 22nd, and Friday, 23rd September 2011, at the Kursk State University.

Of course that we will also keep an eye on the current debate on the future European cohesion policy, the financial perspectives of the EU and the different views on how territorial cooperation should look like, but we would like to stress in this occasion the opportunities opened by the Eastern Partnership and the need to strengthen the cooperation with the sub-national level in the Russian Federation and the Neighbourhood countries. To this end, we expect a strong participation not only by representatives from EU border regions, but also from border areas at the external borders of the EU and beyond.

The requests and recommendations of the conference will address the EU, Russian and Neighbourhood institutions, as well as the border- and cross-border regions and any interested stakeholder, trying to offer some views on the territorial aspects of the Eastern Partnership and a set of proposals for further cooperation.
Video of Kursk Region, host of the AEBR Annual Conferencde 2011