16 European groupings of territorial cooperation (EGTC)
In 2006 the Member States, regional/local authorities, associations and public bodies were presented with a new instrument designed to overcome obstacles linked to cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation. In a recent report, the European Commission has taken stock of this new tool: 16 EGTCs have been set up in Europe, and 21 are in preparation. For example, the first cross-border hospital, which will open its doors in 2012 at Puigcerd in Catalonia on the Franco-Spanish border, is the result of one such EGTC.
The EGTC makes it possible to simplify procedures and to remove institutional, legal and financial barriers which to date have managed to block cross-border development projects. It allows partners to form a single legal entity founded on a single set of rules to carry out common initiatives in several Member States.