In memoriam Dr. Karl Ahrens:

Dr. Karl Ahrens, Präsident der AGEG von 1983-1997

Dr. Karl Ahrens, holder of the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit and the Knight Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, was President of the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) from 1983 to 1997. He died on 6 March 2015.

During the time of his presidency, the number of AEBR members grew from 24 to almost 70 Euroregions or border/cross-border regions. Important milestones in the history of AEBR fall in the time of his presidency, e.g. the establishment of a contact office on cross-border cooperation at the Council of Europe, and the introduction of a first own budget line for cross-border cooperation in the EU budget in the year 1987. In 1988/1989, the INTERREG programme was elaborated by AEBR on request of the European Commission. In 1990, the Observatory for Cross-Border Cooperation (LACE) was launched with financial support by the EU. This observatory existed until 2003. In 1995, the “Charter of European Border and Cross-Border Regions”, elaborated in 1981, was completely revised, taking into account the developments in Central and Eastern Europe.

In addition to his mandate in the German Bundestag, Dr. Ahrens covered several political positions. At the Council of Europe, he was from April 1977 until March 1991 member of the board of the social democratic party, holding the chairmanship from September 1986 until March 1991. In April 1983, he was the first German to be elected President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. He hold that position until April 1987. In addition, he was active as member of the Defence Committee, the Budget and Organisation Committee of the Western European Union (WEU), serving as Chairman of the WEU Political Committee from May 1986 until April 1991.

With the passing away of Dr. Karl Ahrens, the Association of European Border Regions has lost a visionary and supporter of cross-border cooperation.

The memorial for Dr. Karl Ahrens was held on Tuesday, 17 March 2015 at 14:00 in Osnabrück. 

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