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CoBo (Cohesion in Border Regions)

The CoBo project (Cohesion in <German> border regions) led by Prof. Dr. Tobias Chilla, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürenberg, with the participation of the University of St. Gallen, various German federal ministries, agencies, universities and the AEBR has practically finished simultaneously with the publication of the following studies by the German Federal Government: GrenzscoutsExperimentierklauseln and Regionalräte, on the famous concepts included in the German Coalition Agreement 2021-2025.

All of this has meant an enormous step forward in the development of muti-level governance for CBC. It has a direct relevance for the German borders (with nine neighbouring countries), but it is also very important for other European borders, particularly the internal ones. All the related documents to the CoBo Project and the three concepts are in German language for the time being, but we are planning some sumaries of most relevant aspects in English, which would be linked to this page.

In this interview (in German) with Prof. Chilla, published on the website of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, you will find more detailed information about this very interesting and future-oriented project which has researched the cohesion situation and potential of German border regions. We expect it will have a decisive influence in the understanding of border regions and their singularities by other European member states.

On 20-21 April, the final event of the CoBo project took place at the Erst-Reuter House, site of the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BMBF) in Berlin. Before the closing, four members of the Bundestag and a member from a Landstag (BW),  from different parties, discussed on cohesion in border regions. The Conference Grenzraumakademie — Border Regions of Germany with its neighbouring countries – has looked at the many facets of European cohesion which are particularly striking at European internal borders. On the one hand, cross-border integration and regional development are a notorious success of territorial cooperation. Nevertheless, obstacles, barriers and “peripherality” continue to play a role despite the European integration process. Recent trends in euroscepticism have also increased and a reduction in funding in EU border support is foreseeable. Against this background, the question now arises as to how the progress achieved in cross-border cohesion can be preserved and continued as far as possible.

The practical and cooperation partners of the CoBo research project organized this conference to answer the following questions from the perspective of science, practice and politics through keynote speeches and panel discussions:

  • What are most important trends at the moment?
  • What opportunities and opportunities arise from this?
  • What does “European cohesion” mean for border regions?

The event was held in German and English and was attended by many Euroregions. AEBR project b-solutions had a strong presence in the different sessions, as well as the debates around the ECBM.

And, the day before, various studies had been published by the German Foreign Affairs Ministry (Auswärtiges Amt) dealing with the three topics on border regions included in the Coalition-Agreement of December 2021 between SPD, FDP and Green Party:

It goes without saying that these also had an impact in the meeting, but especially highlighting the strong interest paid by various departments of the Bund (Federal Government) to their border regions and to CBC.

Clicking on the news Grenzraumakademie you will find the programme of the event (in German), with links to the presentations.


Download the Summary Document of the Grenzraumakademie prepared by Prof. Chilla and Drs. Zumbusch and Zwicker-Schwarm.

And here the Atlas of German Border Regions (Grenzraumatlas) prepared during the implementation of the CoBo project.

Access all previous publications from the CoBO project

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