The Association of European Border Regions (AEBR), Mission Opérationnelle Transfrontalière (MOT) and Central European Service for Cross-Border Initiatives (CESCI) have launched the European Cross-Border Citizens’ Alliance. The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) has joined the alliance in September 2020.Read more
The three organisations representing border and cross-border regions in Europe decided to establish an alliance with the objective of strengthening the representation of citizens and regional and local authorities from border and cross-border regions, especially with regard to European policymaking, following a proposal put forward by the Director-General of the MOT in 2019.
The Alliance raises awareness of the circumstances of border regions with the objective of including their needs in the Recovery Fund and showing the impact of closing borders in order not to do so again. The alliance has sent and will keep on sending joint messages to national authorities, European institutions and citizens to ensure the adoption of an adequate budget and the development of policies that take into account the specificities of cross-border territories.
The attention drawn to borders in European media during certain phases of the pandemic and the many activities initiated by local and regional authorities in border regions, and their networks, with a view to tackling the pandemic and its economic and social consequences, urged AEBR, MOT and CESCI to make concrete decisions towards a common message to be sent jointly.
The Alliance is open to other stakeholders, aiming to involve as many actors as possible to raise, clearly and decisively, the voice of border and cross-border regions.
A joint declaration was presented on the occasion of the European Week of Regions and Cities in October, AEBR’s annual events 2020 in Eupen and the Borders Forum in Paris in early November organized by the MOT.
The need to coordinate and send a unified message in opposition to the closure of the borders made it particularly important to react as early as possible in this sense. The establishment of this Alliance became clear in 2019. However, other initiatives in place supporting the major chapter of the EU budget, namely Cohesion Policy, such as the Cohesion Alliance, made the three partners wait to guarantee, at least, a reasonable Cohesion Policy (and related budget).
In this context, AEBR, CESCI and MOT have formed the European Cross-Border Citizens’ Alliance. In September 2020, the European Committee of the Regions joined the Alliance following a request from its members. At the CoR Plenary on 1 July 2020, a number of CoR members emphasised the many problems cross-border regions and citizens were facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, underlining the importance of a stronger cross-border cooperation for European citizens and businesses.
As a follow-up, the CoR has started a reflection on the long-term future of cross border cooperation, entailing a number of actions such as a study, public consultations and a dedicated high-level event on the future of cross-border cooperation during 2021. This will be a substantial part of the CoR’s official contribution to the Conference on the Future of the European Union.
A declaration was drafted by AEBR, MOT, CESCI and the CoR. It has been updated a couple of times and it is still open to receive amendments, comments or remarks.
Read here the draft declaration in English.Back to overview