Cross-border cooperation at local government level exists in the Eurodistricts “Regio PAMINA”, “Strasbourg-Ortenau”, “Region Freiburg/Centre and Southern Alsace”, “Trinational Eurodistrict Basel” and “Upper-Rhine Commission” (Hochrheinkommission), where the Federal Land merely acts in the capacity of an observer in accordance with local self-government.
1. Central and Southern Baden (Regional Commissioner’s Office of Karlsruhe and Freiburg).
2. Upper Rhine department.
3. Prefecture of the Region of Alsace.
4. Five north-western Swiss cantons (Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft, Aargau, Solothurn, Jura).
7. Southern Palatinate (represented by the Land Government of Rhineland-Palatinate).
8. Region of Alsace.
9. Lower Rhine department.
10. The Federal Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland.
11. Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
12. Region of Lorraine.
13. Moselle department.
14. Meurthe et Moselle department.
15. Prefecture of the Region of Lorraine.
16. The Wallon region.
Cooperation began in the 1970s and gradually expanded. The first summit was held in the Greater Region in 1995.
- Baden-Württemberg County
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Reasons for Success in overcoming Obstacles
1. The Federal Land of Lower Saxony and senior officials of the border regions (Euroregions, security regions, EDR) agreed to intensify and improve the dismantling of obstacles in the area of ross-border cooperation in a letter of intent.
2. Creation of suitable instruments.
3. Definition of joint interests and subsequent implementation of joint projects.
4. Close regional cooperation.
5. The different sectors and levels are obliged to engage in cross-border activities.
Good Practices in identifying and removing Obstacles
1. State competences addressed in the state cooperation bodies (e.g. “ORK”, “German-French-Swiss Government Commission” and “International Lake Constance Conference” with the direct participation of the relevant Land and Federal Ministries which are submitted to the EU Commission).
2. Intergovernmental institutions (e.g. German-Polish Government Commission).
3. Organisation of regular contacts at technical level.
4. Importance of structures' knowledge and operation's models of the respective partners.
5. Political will.
Good Practices in identifying Cross-border territory as spatial planning unit
Upper Rhine (metropolitan region) in relation to the Greater Region (polycentric metropolitan region and its hinterland).
Good Practices in developing Cross-border Cooperation
ORK and the Greater Region have an organisational chart which sets out the institutionalised bodies from the political decision-making level to the working level.
Reasons for Obstacles Persistence
1. Antiquated or no bilateral agreements on specific sectors.
2. Differences in legislation.
3. Long planning and coordination periods, particularly in respect of cross-border projects and budget finance.
4. Differences in administration systems.
5. Infrastructure development is oriented to the long term and requires heavy investment.
6. Stakeholders expertise.
7. Political will.
Obstacles to be removed by Unilateral Action (State/Regional)
Solving asymmetry problems of partners involved in CBC (e.g. the Greater Region encompasses a nation state, two German Federal Länder, the Prefecture of Lorraine and three Local Authorities in Lorraine as well as three Belgian Local Authorities).