Euregio Maas-Rhein

Proceedings of the AEBR General Assembly and Annual Conference, 6 - 9 November 2013, Liège/Belgium:


Wednesday, 6th November 2013

Around 150 participants of the AEBR Annual Conference, who arrived to Liège already on 6 November, attended the reception organised by the city of Liège in the town hall’s wedding hall. Welcome speeches were given by Mr. Willy Demeyer, Mayor of Liège, and Mr. Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the AEBR, the Euregio Meuse-Rhine and Minister-President of the German-speaking Community of Belgium.

Afterwards, two INTERREG best practices in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine were presented, the projects “SUN” and “Vennbahnroute”.patek philippe replica watches

The reception was followed by a walking dinner in the “Salle des pas perdus”, where participants had the chance to visit several INTERREG exhibition stands. 

Thursday, 7th November 2013

The programme on Thursday started at the “Le Cadran” Hall in Liège downtown with the AEBR Executive Committee meeting from 09.00h – 10.00h. 

The Executive Committee was followed by the AEBR General Assembly from 10.30h – 12.30h. 

On the occasion of this meeting, the AEBR General Assembly adopted the membership applications of the following regions/organisations: 

The Annual Report 2012 was adopted as well (available for download: 


Cross-Border Urban und Rural Integrated Areas –Challenges and Chances

The AEBR Annual Conference addressed the topic "Cross-Border Urban and Rural Integrated Areas – Challenges and Chances". More than 300 delegates from 30 countries followed the greeting speeches given by Mr. Walter Deffaa, Director General of DG REGIO, European Commission, and Mr. Jean-Pierre Burton, Head of Cabinet, Province of Liège.

The full text of Mr. Deffaa’s greeting message is available via this link:

Following the opening words of Karl-Heinz Lambertz, Minister-President of the German-speaking Community of Belgium, President of the AEBR, Chairman of Euregio Meuse-Rhine, the first round table tackled the topic “Cross-border Integrated Areas in Science and Practice”. Mr. Gregory Hamez, Director, Department of Geography, Université de Lorraine, Metz, moderated this round table with the following speakers:

Jacques Teller, Professor for Urban and Spatial Planning, Université de Liège, who spoke about Cross-Border Spatial Development in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine 

- Andrea Hartz, Project coordinator MORO/IMeG, who presented Cross-Border Metropolitan Regions 

- Serge Novaretti, DG Connect, European Commission, who spoke about Large-Scale-Pilot-Project ‘e-SENS’: paving the way to EU Digital Services Infrastructures 

Olav Jern, Chief Executive, Regional Council of Ostrobothnia 

Joachim Beck, Head of the EURO-Institute (Kehl), gave an overview onGovernance of cross-border integrated areas 

- Anja Schmotz, Institute of Geography, Technical University of Dresden: spoke about Quality of life and cross-border integration - border area Saxony-Lower Silesia 

The political panel discussion starting at 16:30 was moderated by Alexander Homann, Director of the representation of the German-speaking Community in Brussels, and Welf Selke, Ministerialrat a. D., Member of AEBR Advisory Committee.

The political panel discussion starting at 16:30 was moderated by Alexander Homann, Director of the representation of the German-speaking Community of Belgium in Brussels, and Welf Selke, Head of Division in the German Government (ret.) and Member of AEBR Advisory Committee. Ms. Danuta Hübner, Chairwoman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Regional Development, Mr. Walter Deffaa, Director General, Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission, Mr. Joost van Iersel, President, Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Mr. Stewart Dickson, Rapporteur on Interregional Cooperation, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, and Ms. Hande Özsan Bozatli, President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER) discussed the political point of view of challenges and chances of cross-border urban and rural integrated areas.

Ms Ann-Sofi Backgren, First Vice-President of AEBR, Regional Council of Ostrobothnia, Finland, presented the Final Declaration of the AEBR Annual Conference 2013, which was adopted by the AEBR members and handed over to Mr. Walter Deffaa, Director General, European Commission‘s DG Regional and Urban Policy, and Ms. Danuta Hübner, Chairperson of the REGI Committee at the European Parliament. This document is available in the following languages:




Afterwards, the personal award ceremony “Sail of Papenburg” 2013 was opened by Karl-Heinz Lambertz. This prize honours high-ranking European personalities and their commitment to cross-border cooperation. In 2013, this award was endowed to Ms Danuta Hübner, former member of the European Commission, currently chairperson of the committee on regional development of the European Parliament. Ms Hübner was honoured for her commitment for many years in the field of European regional policy and cross-border cooperation.

Day 1 of the AEBR Conference 2013 ended with a gala dinner on invitation by the Province of Liège. 

Friday, 8th November 2013

Day 2 of the AEBR Annual Conference took for the first time place on a ship! The conference delegates travelled by boat from Liège to Maastricht, using the time for discussions and networking. The themes of the Annual Conference were discussed following the “World Café“ method. To this end, several tables were provided, each with a moderator, and participates rotated after certain intervals.

From 12:15h -13.00h, conference delegates attended the reception in Maastricht City Hall, and followed the greeting by Onno Hoes, Mayor of Maastricht.

The Province of Limburg and the City of Maastricht were also hosts of the walking dinner organised in the city hall.

At 15.30h, the ship left Maastricht again to bring the delegates back to Liège.

The travel time on the ship was used for a first evaluation of the World Cafés on the ship’s upper bridge and meetings of the AEBR Task Forces on the lower bridge:

- AEBR Advisory Committee

Task Force Cross-Border Health

- Task Force Cross-Border Culture

- Task Force Future Interreg Programmes

Task Force External Borders

Task Force Water Management

- Task Force CB Labour Market

At 18.30h, the ship reached Liège again, and delegates were transferred to their hotels, and then from there to the Crowne Plaza Hotel for the final reception.

During this reception, addresses were given by Mr. George Pire, Provincial Councillor, Province of Liège, and by AEBR President Karl-Heinz Lambertz.


Reinhold Kolck
, former Vice-President of the AEBR, Vice-Chairman of the AEBR Advisory Committee, presented the winner of the AEBR Award “Sail of Papenburg 2013”, which had this year the patronage of the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz and EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn.

For the 12th time the Cross Border Award “Sail of Papenburg“ has been endowed by the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR). This award is a unique and eminent European distinction in the field of cross-border cooperation, endowed for the first time in 2002 in the region where it was invented, the Ems Dollart Region (EDR) in Papenburg. 

The motto of the Award 2013 was: “Urban and rural integrated areas – cross-border challenges and chances“. This year’s winning region is Lower Austria – Burgenland – Bratislava with the project Bratislava-urbanregional cooperation (BAUM). The characteristic of this project is the creation of a master plan for the implementation of common strategies in the fields of agriculture, nature and landscape protection as well as tourism and living. First measures have been implemented, successes can be already measured.

Dr. Reinhold Kolck aus Emden, chairman of the award jury, stressed: “It can be stated that there is a clear tendency of increased quality of the presented projects, on a European level. There are more and more large-scale integrated concepts, leading to the implementation of concrete measure.“

Saturday, 9th November 2013

On Saturday morning, the conference delegates still present in Liège were invited to a coffee reception in the Musée de la Vie Wallonne, where Ms. Clio Brzakala,head of Wallonie Design, presented them the design aspects in today’s Liège cityscape.

Afterwards, the delegates had the chance to choose among several cultural activities: One group joined a design-trip, during which they visited hype boutiques, artists, restaurants and art galleries along a walk through the streets of Liège (with the help of booklets and city maps handed out by the tourism association). A second group participated in a guided tour through the historical city centre on Liège, the rest just went for shopping.

Photos of the AEBR event in Liège are available in our online gallery:

video has in the meantime been published at


AEBR General Assembly and Annual Conference 2014

The AEBR General Assembly and Annual Conference 2014 will take place from 11 to 13 September 2014 in Rzeszów, Poland, on invitation of the Polish Association of Carpathian Euroregion.  

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