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REGION OF THE WEEK: Pyrenees-Mediterranean Euroregion/EGTC

Pyrenees-Mediterranean Euroregion


The Pyrenees-Mediterranean Euroregion was established in October 2004 and is a political cooperation project between the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands and the French regions of Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées. The Euroregion seeks to create a centre of sustainable development in the North-West Mediterranean, based on innovation and economic and social integration, while representing a crossroads of cultural exchanges. The Euroregion has an area of 157,550km2 and a population of 15.2 million inhabitants. The joint aim of the Pyrenees-Mediterranean partners is to create sustainable development within the northwest Mediterranean and to further innovation within these geographical areas. There is also a strong focus on the cooperation of cultural and economic networks within the region.

The partnership has now the support of a EU legal instrument - the European Grouping for Territorial Cooperation (EGTC), designed to facilitate and promote cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation.

What are the region's priorities?

The European Regional Development Fund in the Pyrenees-Mediterranean Euroregion is channelled through the transnational cooperation initiatives, Interreg III A and IV B South West European programmes (SUDOE), and focus on key areas such as:

  • Promotion of research and innovation through the creation of technology networks
  • Sustainable development - respecting the environment and natural surroundings
  • Improved infrastructure and access to information networks
  • Inclusive and sustainable urban development

How does EU regional policy contribute?

The Pyrenees-Mediterranean EGTC is helping the Euroregion to achieve its goals, particularly cross-border, trans-national and inter-regional cooperation and economic, social and territorial cohesion. It facilitates cooperation in numerous domains, such as:

  • Higher education and research: developing 'Eurocampus'
  • Culture: calls for applications for cultural projects funded by the four regions
  • Economic development: supporting business start-ups

Project examples

  • CreaMed: The Pyrenees-Mediterranean EGTC is the lead partner of the CreaMed Project within the framework of the SUDOE territorial cooperation Programme to support start-ups through a network of business incubators in the region. The overall objective of the SUDOE programme is to consolidate cooperation in Southwest European regions in the fields of competitiveness, innovation and environmental protection, and the sustainable planning and development of the area. The total cost of the project is approximately EUR 1 .5 million, of which approx. EUR 1.1 million is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

  • Cerdagne Cross-Border Hospital: Europe's first cross-border hospital for communities on both sides of the Pyrenees, at Puigcerdà, was co funded to the sum of €31 million, accounting for 60% of the project investment. The total cost of the construction of the hospital is EUR 31 million, some 60% (or EUR 18 million) of which is funded through the ERDF, while 40% was covered by the Spanish and French authorities. The hospital is due to open in June 2012.

  • Eurocampus: The Pyrenees-Mediterranean EGTC is the driving force of the Euroregional strategy of developing a Eurocampus, which is the biggest European campus in terms of student numbers. The Pyrenees-Mediterranean Eurocampus gathers higher education institutions with the aim of improving their competitiveness and favouring the mobility of students, teaching staff and researchers.

Further information