E-DEN – E-Database Empowering networks
It is with Europe’s citizens in mind that the ministers responsible for local and regional government of the 47 member States of the Council of Europe launched in 2009 a major survey of difficulties and obstacles that hamper the cooperation across the borders and agreed in 2011 to further develop their cooperation with a view to reduce or remove those obstacles.
This database is a compilation of both difficulties recorded across the frontiers and solutions found to overcome them.
With the help of ISIG of Gorizia (Italy) the data collected through a series of questionnaires (in 2009 and in 2014 and yearly since 2017) and have been systematised and organised in such a way as to enable all actors of cross-border cooperation to find examples that correspond to their situation and solutions that may help them to adopt the response to their needs.
From the Council of Europe to all actors of CBC
Since its establishment in 1949, the Council of Europe, the first political Organisation of the European continent and the only truly pan-European organisation, with its 47 member states (at the time of writing in November 2013), has consistently worked for the development of a “Europe without dividing lines”, in the spheres of human rights, rule of law and democracy.
One of its fields of activity has been local and regional governance, with special attention being paid to the principles of local government, the promotion of effective local democracy and citizens’ participation and the facilitation of forms of cooperation between local and regional authorities across political boundaries.
Four conventions, several recommendations and a handful of practical tools (all available at: www.coe.int/local) embody this work aimed at making cooperation between neighbouring or non-adjacent territorial communities or authorities legally feasible and practically sustainable.
According to these texts, the main actors of crossborder cooperation are local authorities across member States – and non-member States, in the cases provided for in Protocol No 3 – but the beneficiaries are their citizens.
E-DEN database is a compilation of both difficulties recorded across the frontiers and solutions found to overcome them.
E-DEN aims at enabling all actors of cross-border cooperation to find examples that correspond to their situation and solutions that may help them to adopt the response to their needs.
The methodology for moving from the identification of a need to the implementation of the most suitable solution is also given.
The Council of Europe is confident that EDEN will prove useful to all those involved in crossborder cooperation – central governments, local and regional authorities, associations and citizens – and encourages them to disseminate, to use and to enrich it.