7 March 2013: III AEBR-Xunta de Galicia Forum ‘Cross-border Cooperation in Europe: Perspectives towards the 2014-2020 Financial Framework’:


The event was officially opened by Jesús Gamallo, Director General for International and EU Affairs of the Xunta de GaliciaCarlos Neves, Vice-President, Regional Development and Coordination Commission of the Norte Region of Portugal, and Jens Gabbe, Chairman of the AEBR Advisory Committee.

During the first Round Table 1 “The New EU Scenario for Territorial Cooperation in 2014-2020, reactions to the expected new regulations and the financial framework package; partnership agreements; main EU-2020 features; other programmes and initiatives of interest for European border and cross-border regions (Horizon 2020, CB Health Directive, EU2020 Flagship Initiatives) were discussed. AEBR Secretary GeneralMartin Guillermo Ramírez, moderated the discussion. The keynote speech was delivered by José Antonio Ruiz de Casas, DG Regio, European Commission, who offered food for thought about the planning of next CBC programmes. Generalized budget cuts have not affected Territorial Cooperation, getting some more funds than in the previous period. There is a strong emphasis on the impact of these programmes (monitoring and assessment), thematic concentration and smart specialization. It is also important to take into account multi-funds programmes.

Further participants in this round were Peter Hansen, Director of Region Sonderjylland-Schleswig (DK/DE) and Coordinator of the AEBR German Members Grouping, who stressed the need to keep small-project funding in many cross-border areas, where people-to-people projects still play a crucial role; Miguel Corgos López-Prado, D.G. Planning and Budget, Regional Ministry of Finances, Economy and Industry of Galicia, offered some of the doubts that many border regions currently face, particularly the difficulties to guarantee co-financing; Jens Gabbe, Chairman, AEBR Advisory Committee, who stressed the need to work on the quality of programmes and the participation of local and regional authorities from the very start; and Fernando Fernández Melle,Director General of EU Funds, Ministry of Finances, Spain, who summarized main facts and announced main deadlines, e.g. the need to prepare all partnership agreements by November 2013 and the process to elaborate the different programmes.

During the following debate, some of the participants stressed the need to reduce the excess of bureaucracy and controls, to guarantee the impact of territorial interventions and the need to make an effort of imagination when implementing next programmes.

As next step, the AEBR’s Bank of Good Practices was launched. A set of Good Practices were presented. Carlos Neves, Vice-President of Norte Region (PT) moderated this session, in which the Statistic Observatory Galicia-Norte and the Cross-border Laboratory were presented. Also the project awarded with the AEBR “Sail of Papenburg” 2012, dealing with recognition of professional qualifications between Galicia and Portugal, was highlighted. Juan Lirón, EGTC Galicia-Norte, Eva Lundin, Hedmark County Council (NO) / Värmland (SE), and Pavel Branda, Euroregion Neiße-Nisa-Nysa (CZ/DE/PL) reported about successful projects in their regions, stressing the need of permanent cross-border structures and the importance of people-to-people projects.

The second Round Table, entitled ‘Territorial Cooperation in the Iberian Peninsula. Perspectives’ was moderated by Jesús Gamallo Aller, Director General for International and EU Affairs of Xunta de Galicia, who also held the key-note speech. XanVázquez Mao, Secretary General of the Eixo Atlántico, RIET (the Network of Iberian Cross-Border Entities) and CECICN (Conference of European Cross-Border and Interregional City Networks), stressed main circumstances affecting current discussions on next programming period from the point of view of those in charge of implementing cross-border projects; Prof. Luis Domínguez, University of Vigo, offered the point of view of universities in cross-border areas; and Jorge Cebreiros, Vice-President of the Pontevedra Confederation of Entrepreneurs, the view of enterprises, resulting in a very lively review of practical aspects of territorial cooperation to promote growth and development in cross-border regions.

The IV AEBR-Xunta de Galicia Forum was announced to take place in the first quarter of 2015.

Press Release of Xunta de Galicia:

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