Cross border cooperation is perhaps one of the most interesting activities. It offers the opportunity to build teams in pursuit of joint solutions to common problems, to work with people of different backgrounds and expertise in projects that enable a wide range of local audiences to explore new paths. Connecting different people and entities from different countries with sometimes volatile histories and strained relations is by all accounts a challenging and rewarding experience. Driving disparate forces toward common objectives and developing a joint approach, is always a unique and rich experience. This even more so when it serves a much larger and longer enterprise, which is that of European integration. Working with the neighbourhood countries is an exercise that reveals the potential that remains to be discovered, but also reveals the gaps that have to be bridged. Of course, the positive is challenged when confronted with regulatory and other related obstacles. Such is life and this is not always easy but cross border cooperation is one of the few ways to overcome these difficulties.

Menelaos Chatziapostolidis holds a BA in Political Science and History, a BSBA in Management from the University of Denver (Colorado, USA) and a Masters in Comparative Political Analysis from the University of Bordeaux (France). He has worked in various positions within construction management, financial and consulting services sectors before becoming Special Advisor for EU and International Affairs in 2003, for the Prefectural Authority of Drama-Kavala-Xanthi and since 2011 in the Municipality of Kavala, while also currently supporting the EGTC Efxini Poli. During this time, he has also served as National Coordinator of the Hellenic delegation in the Committee of Regions of the EU. In parallel, Mr Chatziapostolidis has initiated and/or managed numerous projects co-financed by various financial instruments (INTERREG, Life, Espon, FP7) dealing mainly with the environment, culture and tourism.