Regional policy and co-operation

The diverging fortunes of France and Germany

The New York Times has a nice feature on the social and economic fortunes of two bordering regions in Alsace – one in Germany and one in France. The entire article is worth reading but I thought this part was especially noteworthy:

The mayor of Emmendingen, Stefan Schlatterer, says that “there is a job here for anyone who can count to ten,” but one needs to count in German.

Mayors from both sides of the border seem to wish for more cross-border regional co-operation. But it’s not like the EU has a lack of administrative structures designed to promote cross-border co-operation: for example, the Euroregions, the more recent European Groupings for Territorial Co-operation, the Committee of the Regions, and the European Territorial Co-operation programs (INTERREG IVa), These come on top of smaller-scale bilateral co-operation programs, twinning projects between different cities and municipalities, etc. Certainly no lack of institutional infrastructure, but obviously to little effect!




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