A new EGTC in the Iberian Peninsula: Minho River EGTC :

Family photo with all territorial authorities from both sides of the Portuguese-Spanish border after signature of the Minho River EGTC at the Pousada de São Teotónio, within the old fortress of the border city Valença do Minho (Portugal). (Photo: Diputación Provincial de Pontevedra, 2018)

After several months of intense work by different Portuguese and Galician actors, including the organisation of two international seminars on cross-border issues held in April and Mai 2017, with the participation of the AEBR, the formal signature of the Minho River EGTC has taken place on 24 February in Valença do Minho.

Different levels of administrations were represented: the States, with the Spanish General Secretary for Territorial Coordination; the Regions, with the General Director of External Affairs of the Xunta de Galicia and the Vice-President of the CCDR-Norte, and the local level, with the president of CIM Alto Minho and the president of the Pontevedra provincial government.

Minho River EGTC has two main partners: the CIM Alto Minho (Inter-municipal Community of Alto Minho), which represents 10 Portuguese municipalities, and the Diputación of Pontevedra, representing 16 Galician municipalities. Cooperation in this border area exists far before the EGTC, with cross-border associations such as Uniminho (maybe in a process of merging with the new Minho River EGTC) and three eurocities. In any case, the new impulse given by the process of establishing the EGTC has impelled cooperation through two recent Interreg projects (2015-2019): Smart Minho, mainly a 2020 Strategic Agenda, and Visit Minho, a tourist oriented initiative. With the new EGTC legal framework more projects in different areas of cooperation are expected in the near future.

Image 2: Map of Minho River EGTC in NW Iberian Peninsula, across the Spanish-Portuguese border river Minho/Miño River and towards the Atlantic Ocean (Source: Diputación Provincial de Pontevedra, 2018)

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