Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all events are planned with online participation. Current restrictions in Belgium have strongly limited the expected capacity of the venue, and we cannot dismiss the possibility of further limitations in the next weeks. On 30 September, Belgium was marked as “red zone” by Germany, and other countries also apply restrictions. Again there is a growing number of daily cases in many European territories, and we were already aware that this year we must be very flexible (and cautious). Therefore, our hosts and AEBR have followed the situation and have informed regularly about any evolution in the organisation of the event.
The registration has been opened on Monday 12 October for AEBR IV Cross-Border School and Annual Conference 2020. This is the link to register for AEBR Cross-Border School and Annual Conference. AEBR members have also received the statutory communication to register for the General Assembly and submit their proposals for AEBR Election 2020, as well as first information on the procedures, technical aspects, etc.
We are also planning to organize a different ceremony to deliver the Cross-Border Award Sail of Papenburg 2020. The call for proposals was open until 1 October 2020, and the Jury has started its deliberations. This year, the topic is Covid-19 – re-opening of borders. Joint measures and solutions in border regions. One or more outstanding activities will be selected by an independent jury appointed by the AEBR Executive Committee.
Wednesday, 4 November 2020
The 4th edition of AEBR Cross-Border School will work around four themes:
Bringing together cross-border cooperation academics and practitioners with the double aim of enhancing dialogue and mutual learning whilst increasing knowledge. Many stakeholders will contribute: the University of Victoria (Canada), the University of Liége (Belgium), the Technical University of Kaiserslautern (Germany), the University of Luxembourg and the Technical University of Liberec (Czech Republic). Various AEBR members will also take part, and we expect wide online participation.
Here you can find a detailed programme of the Cross-Border School.
The Cross-Border School will be held in English.
Thursday, 5 November 2020
AEBR General Assembly 2020 will be combined with the Executive Committee meeting and will take place on 5 November in the morning (10:00-12:00), including the Election of AEBR bodies.
In the afternoon of 5 November and the morning of 6 November, AEBR Annual Conference will take place online. Main topics will be the future of the EU from the perspective of border regions, and the future role of AEBR.
There will be simultaneous interpretation in English, French, German and Polish for the General Assembly and the Annual Conference.
Session I – The future of Europe from the perspective of border regions
13:30-13:50 Official Opening and Welcome speeches by AEBR President and Oliver Paasch, Minister-President of the German-speaking Community of Belgium
13.50 – 14.05 Gunn Marit Helgesen, Councillor of Telemark County (NO), President of the Chamber of Regions, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities (Council of Europe)
14.05 – 14.20 n.n., REGI Committee, European Parliament: Role of the Parliament, Trilogue, state-of-the-art (tbc)
14.20 – 14.35 Pascal Boijmans, Head of Unit for Interreg and CBC at DG Regio, European Commission
14.35 – 14-50 Wolfgang Petzold, Deputy Director at the European Committee of the Regions, Role of regions and border regions in European development
14.50 – 15.15 Exchange with participants, and proposal of a structured debate afterwards through the Border Focal Point’s forum in Futurium: https://ec.europa.eu/futurium/en/border-regions/forum
15.15 – 15.30 Sum-up, conclusions, and proposals for action.
Session II – Crises like COVID-19 and consequences for border citizens
This crisis has shown how weak the situation across the internal borders of the EU could be when national governments decide to close the border. Recovery is thus harder in border regions. Therefore, the role of the EU is crucial to coordinate a growing variety of issues, also public services, where provisions and procedures might collide at the border. A lot of knowledge is produced on the ground, and there is a growing awareness at national level (and in a growing number of departments at EU institutions). Then, do we need a new narrative for cross-border areas?
Moderator: Nathalie Verschelde, Border Focal Point, DG Regio, European Commission
16.30 – 16.45 First lessons learned: a study on COVID and borders. Introduction to the session and presentation of the study by the moderator.
16.45 – 17.00 Michael Dejozé, EGTC Euregio Meuse-Rhine
17.00 – 17.10 Regional aspects of this health crisis, Arola Urdangarin Ferreira, EGTC Eurorégion Nouvelle Aquitaine-Euskadi-Navarre
17.10 – 17.30 Summary of comments included in the chat, questions and comments from the audience, brief reaction from the speakers.
17:30 – 17:45 The point of view of citizens and patients, Nicolas Decker / Jo Maas, European Patients Empowerment for Customized Solutions- EPECS
17.45 – 17.55 Covid’s impact on cultural operators in the border regions, Julie Hanique, General Council for Culture, Federation of Wallonia-Brussels
17.55 – 18.10 New summary of comments in the chat, a few comments from the audience, brief reaction from the speakers, and final remarks (sum-up and conclusions) by the moderator
Friday, 6 November 2020
The future of AEBR
Session III – A project-based organisation? (b-solutions, Interreg Volunteer Youth, InterVentures, EUROsociAL, …)
Moderator: Martín Guillermo Ramírez, AEBR Secretary General
09.00 – 09.15 Cinzia Dellagiacoma, AEBR Team
09.15 – 09.30 Ricardo Ferreira, Border Focal Point, DG Regio, European Commission
09.30 – 09.40 Io Chatzivaryti, Euroregion Nestos-Mesta (GR-BG), Chamber of Drama
09.40 – 09.50 Pablo Rivera Búa, EGTC Chaves-Verín (PT-ES)
09.50 – 09.55 Briefing on AEBR Latin American projects, José María Cruz, AEBR Global Initiative, Brussels
09.55 – 10.20 Exchange with participants
10.20 – 10.30 Sum-up and conclusions
Session IV – Communication and networking: future AEBR cooperation with EU institutions and other partners
Moderator: Ann-Sofi Backgren, Regional Council of Ostrobothnia (FI)
11.00 – 11.05 Introduction by the moderator
11.05 – 11.15 Andreas Kiefer, Acting Secretary General of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities (Council of Europe)
11.15 – 11.25 Christian Gsodam, Head of Cabinet of the Secretary General, European Committee of the Regions
11.25 – 11.35 Territorial Cooperation Instruments to strengthen cohesion in border regions, Dirk Peters, Senior Expert for European territorial cooperation, EGTC and ECBM at DG Regio, European Commission
11.35 – 11.45 Jean Peyrony, Director of the Mission Opérationnelle Transfrontalière
11.45 – 12.05 Exchange with participants
12.05 – 12.15 Sum-up and conclusions
12:15-12:20 A brief look into 2021: AEBR 50th Anniversary and presentation of the host of next General Assembly and Annual Conference: the Province of Gelderland (video)
12:20-12:30 Closing words