Boosting Growth and Cohesion in EU Border Regions, Mérida, 25 October 2017


The European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, is organising, in cooperation with Junta de Extremadura and the Association of European Border Regions, the workshop "Boosting Growth and Cohesion in EU Border Regions", which will take place on 25 October 2017, at Asamblea de Extremadura, Mérida, Spain.

The event is also organised with the support of Asamblea de Extremadura, Gabinete de Iniciativas Transfronterizas, the Interreg programme Spain-Portugal, and the Euroregion EUROACE.

This workshop is the first of a series of three decentralised events which follow the adoption on 20 September 2017 of the European Commission's Communication "Boosting Growth and Cohesion in EU Border Regions". The aim of the Communication is to highlight ways in which Europe can reduce the complexity, length and costs of cross-border interaction and promote the pooling of services along internal borders. The workshop will outline and discuss the Communication's findings on persisting legal and administrative obstacles to border interaction. It will also provide a good opportunity to share existing good practices and to agree a common roadmap to boost EU Border Regions by removing such obstacles or preventing their emergence in the future.

The workshop will gather about 100 participants with hands-on experience of cross-border interaction, including representatives from national, regional and local authorities as well as stakeholders from border regions of south-western EU countries (Spain, Portugal, France, Italy).

The workshop will be followed by a walking tour of Mérida and by an informal dinner kindly offered by Gabinete de Iniciativas Transfronterizas and the Interreg programme Spain-Portugal.

Simultaneous interpretation is provided from/to English, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.

  • Venue: Asamblea de Extremadura, Plaza San Juan de Dios s/n, 06800 Mérida, Spain
  • Agenda PDF
  • Video recording

Moderators: Ms Montaña Hernández, Director of Gabinete de Iniciativas Transfronterizas, Junta de Extremadura
Ms Nathalie Verschelde, Interreg, Cross-Border Cooperation, Internal Borders, DG Regional and Urban Policy

10:00 – 10:30

Welcome Address

  • Mr Antonio Rodríguez Osuna, Mayor of Mérida
  • Ms Blanca Martín Delgado, President of the Regional Assembly of Extremadura
  • Ms Rosa María Balas Torres, Director General of External Action, Presidency of Junta de Extremadura

10:30 – 11:45

Boosting Growth and Cohesion in EU Border Regions – The 10-Points Action Plan proposed by the European Commission
Presentation of the Communication:

  • Ms Nathalie Verschelde, Deputy Head of Unit, Interreg, Cross-Border Cooperation, Internal borders, DG Regional and Urban Policy - Presentation PDF

Q&A session

12:15 – 14:00

Good Practices – Progress is possible

  • Multilingualism: Mr Fernando Sánchez Morales, Mayor of Canfranc Municipality, France-Spain Border - Presentation PDF
  • Health: Ms Tea Podobnik, GECT GO / EZTS GO, Italy-Slovenia Border - Presentation PDF
  • Transport, Mr Jean-Baptiste Schiber, Ville et Eurométropole de Strasbourg, Tramway Line Strasbourg-Kehl, French-German Border - Presentation PDF

Q&A session

15:15 – 15:45

Keynote Speech – The way ahead

  • Ms Lena Andersson Pench, Director, Territorial Co-operation, Macro-regions and Programmes Implementation I, DG Regional and Urban Policy - Speech PDF

Q&A session

15:45 – 17:15

The Importance of Multi-Level Governance

  • Ms Mélanie Charotte, Commissariat Général à l'Egalité des Territoires, France - Presentation PDF
  • Mr Jorge Brandão, Comissão de Coordenação e Desenvolvimento Regional do Centro, Portugal
  • Ms María del Carmen Hernández Martín, Head of European Territorial Cooperation Unit, Ministry of Finance and Public Administration, Spain

Q&A session

17:15 – 17:30


  • Mr Martin Guillermo-Ramírez, Secretary General of the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR)

Boosting Growth and Cohesion in EU Border Regions