At a time when the EU’s external borders occupy centre stage in the media, news of successful cross border cooperation between organisations from border regions in Member States and neighbouring countries was highlighted at a conference held in Brussels today.
Delegates from over 30 participating countries, celebrated the achievements of more than 900 projects financed under 13 European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument cross border cooperation programmes (ENPI CBC 2007-2013) in four main fields:
- economic and social development
- common challenges in areas such as environment and health,
- efficient and secure borders, and
- promoting people to people actions.
How to build on this success, the new features of the 16 European Neighbourhood Instrument cross border cooperation programmes (ENI CBC 2014-2020), and the role that cross border cooperation plays in the relations between the European Union and its neighbours were also discussed. Speakers at the conference included representatives from participating Member States and neighbouring countries.
“For nearly 10 years now, the positive impact of Cross Border Cooperation has been felt across Europe and beyond. It has played a key role in border regions: Strengthening the economies, addressing environmental issues and bringing people together. The impact is huge and makes a real difference to the lives of citizens”, said Christian Danielsson, Director General, DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR).
“Cross border cooperation is a key element of the EU’s policy towards its neighbours. It supports sustainable development along the EU’s external borders, helps reduce differences in living standards and addresses common challenges across these borders”, said Mathieu Bousquet, head of unit Georgia, Moldova and Cross-Border Cooperation in the European commission (DG NEAR). 2
“As evidenced by 7,000 applications from over 37,000 organisations from Member States and partner countries organisations, the demand for working together across the borders is very high. The European Union can help bring together partners to address similar needs”, he added.
The conference “Celebrating cooperation on the EU’s external borders: ENPI CBC 2007-2013 closing and ENI CBC launching conference” took place in the Berlaymont building on 15 November 2016. It was organised by the European Commission. Information on the achievements under ENPI CBC, and opportunities under ENI CBC can be found on the enclosed conference handout. For more information, please contact NEARCBC@ ec.europa.eu.