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To carry out its services, AEBR interacts with many partners in Europe and beyond. Within almost 50 years of work representing the interests of all border and cross-border regions at all levels, AEBR has developed an extensive network of partners.

AEBR’s main network is composed of our members and expand on our members’ members and partners. There are more border regions and cross-border structures in Europe which also benefit from our work, and we hope that one day they will become members. Nevertheless, many of them are also part of our network, and we try to involve them in our activities and projects. Actually, current major projects are not only addressed to AEBR members: all public authorities and cross-border structures at the EU/EFTA land and maritime borders, and the borders of the EU with the IPA countries are eligible for b-solutions, and all Interreg programmes and projects are eligible for Interreg Volunteer Youth (IVY).

We are building a solid relationship with other major organisations promoting cross-border cooperation (CBC) in Europe. The Central European Service for Cross-Border Initiatives (CESCI) is a full member of the AEBR. The Presidents of both organisations signed with the President of the Mission Opérationelle Transfrontalière (M.O.T) a Joint Declaration in Strasbourg, at the Palais de l’Europe, on 7 October 2021, in the presence of the Secretary General of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, committing to work together to keep CBC in the focus of the European project. Read  more

AEBR is also coordinated with other European regional organisations to unite efforts towards common goals, such as the #CohesionAlliance promoted by the European Committee of the Regions:

We also take part in other networks promoting CBC, as is the case of the Transfrontier Euro-Institut Network (TEIN), a network of research and education institutions led by the Euro-Institut in Kehl; the Borders in Globalisation (BIG) project (2013-2020), which sought to understand the changing nature of borders through six thematic areas in order to document how state-centred and territorially-fixated research limits our understanding of borders, and its continuation in the 21st Century Borders project, goal of exploring and advancing the required epistemological shift from a state-centric and territorial logic to nodal and mobile logics that focus on both the internal and external forces that challenge the territorial integrity of states. These projects, led by the University of Victoria (Canada), are built on a vast network of academics and policymakers on various continents.

On the other hand, the growing number of AEBR projects and other initiatives in the Americas has also developed a considerable network of public authorities, civil society organisations and other players in most Ibero-American countries.

A primary mission of the AEBR has traditionally been lobbying the EU institutions to promote the interests of border regions. From regular exchanges with desk officers, senior, high-ranking and influential officials, which have traditionally occupied a big part of AEBR’s work, we have passed to implement actions and get involved in specific activities. This has made possible a more systematic approach for those exchanges, yet very important, and a stronger relationship with those directly involved in promoting CBC.

AEBR most relevant partners in the EU are:

  • the European Commission, and particularly DG REGIO:
    • AEBR has always had a strong relationship with DG REGIO to represent the point of view of its members. Now we also develop and implement projects targeted at improving cross-border cooperation, building on the experience (and the extension of our network) gained in the nineties through the LACE-TAP project. Since the establishment of the Border Focal Point and the implementation of IVY and b-solutions projects, this relationship has become more robust.
    • We are also in contact with DG Santé to follow up on the implementation of the Directive on CB Health and Patients’ Rights, the Social Security Regulations and other aspects of interest for the provision of healthcare across borders. We have even implemented a project for DG Santé to analyse the flow of patients across four border areas in Europe.
    • We are also in contact with other DGs to ensure the perspective of border regions in their outputs.
  • the European Parliament, and particularly the REGI Committee, following up on cross-border cooperation and regional development issues;
  • the Committee of the Regions: a strong relationship at all levels;
  • the European Economic and Social Committee.

We also have a regular relationship with the Council of Europe, and in particular with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE).

Other relevant partners are:

– The European Association of Development Agencies (EURADA)

– The Nordic Council of Ministers

– The European Association of Elected Representatives from Mountain Areas (AEM)

EURISY, an association of spaces agencies informing regions and cities, and SMEs, on the use of satellite applications to support public policies

INTERMODES, European congress fully devoted to the intermodal transport of passengers

Last but not least, AEBR also keeps regular contact with various national governments, particularly with their departments dealing with CBC. This has been possible thanks to the active participation of our members in Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Serbia, and Spain. The possibility to exchange directly with the national authorities is extremely relevant, especially when dealing with national cross-border strategies and other long-term processes. We are planning to extend these dialogues to further national authorities in Belgium, Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal and Romania. Then, this should continue to cover the maximum number of EU member states and partner countries (neighbours and pre-accession). Actually, we have also exchanged regularly with the Government of the Russian Federation, but this relationship stopped on February 2022, and with Ukraine. The activities of the AEBR in the Americas mean regular exchanges with the national governments, in particular Bolivia, Brazil (frozen during the current Presidency), Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Uruguay.

We also have regular contacts with the Andean Community (CAN), the Central American Integration System (SICA) and Mercosur. And we are trying to build up a stronger relationship with the African Union and some African Regional Economic Communities (REC).

Thanks to the longstanding fruitful collaboration within this network, AEBR disposes of a unique position to promote cross-border cooperation through its initiatives and projects.

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