INTERREG, European Commission
R e g io GI S
INTERREG IIIA (2004-2006)
INTERREG IIIA regions other regions
© EuroGeographics Association for the administrative boundaries
“Cross-border Cooperation for Knowledge-based Development: A Roadmap,” EURICUR
Cross-border cooperation for knowledge-based development: towards a roadmap
To answer this question we developed a research framework: the knowledge house for cross-border activities. This framework distinguishes three levels on which cross-border activities can be developed and assumes an interaction between these activities and the conditions for cities to be successful in a knowledge-based economy (the foundations of the house). Particularly relevant are the economic base and the knowledge base, and the interaction between these two foundations. Organizing capacity constitutes the roof of the knowledge house, determining to a large degree the ability of the city to become competitive in the knowledge economy by developing cross-border activities. THE ROADMAP – Through analyzing cross-border activities in the five cities, we have been able to develop a roadmap towards cross-border activities in the knowledge based economy. This roadmap consists of twelve statements that can be seen as guidelines for cities that want to become more competitive in the knowledge-based economy. These statements have been divided into three categories, dealing respectively with the contribution of cross-border activities to the regional knowledge-based economy, the
We conclude that, in defining the ‘geography’ of the knowledge economy, it is fruitful to think in networks consisting of nodes and linkages. Rather than focusing on individual cities or city regions, it is possible to conceive regions in terms of access to specialized knowledge resources. If we look at Europe’s urban system in this way, we may see larger regions with enormous knowledge resources and potential. If these resources would be better aligned to each other, the potential can be fully reaped. Cross-border activities are needed to achieve this. With ongoing European integration and internationalization, the need for fruitful cross-border activities strategic orientation, and cross-border institutions and policy processes.CONCLUSIONS –
will grow. The changing needs of firms and institutions in the knowledge-based economy ask for new partnership approaches. This study has contributed to the discussion on how these partnerships can be shaped, and how they may contribute to the competitiveness of border cities.
Map 1. Implementation status of national EGTC provisions in EU-27 (June 2008)
European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation: Implementation status of national EGTC provisions in EU-27 (June 2008)
© EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries; Map: ÖIR-Informationsdienste GmbH
Implementation status of national EGTC provisions: adopted advanced under preparation
“Ten Questions and Answers,” EGTC
national border NUTS 2 region non EU countries
1. What are European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation? The EGTC is a new European legal instrument enabling regional and local authorities from different Member States to set up cooperation groupings with a legal personality. It was introduced by Regulation 1082/2006 of the European Parliament and the Council on 5 July 2006.
2. What roles can they fulfil? To organise and manage cross-border, transnational or interregional cooperation measures, with or without a financial contribution from the EU. To carry out these tasks, an EGTC may create its own structure, have assets and hire staff.
3. Could you give some examples? Running a cross-border transport system or health service; managing a project or programme partfinanced by the ERDF (e.g. Territorial Cooperation objective, formerly Interreg); setting up a joint energy agency for using renewable resources; establishing bilingual information systems in border regions; managing a project under the Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development; etc. 4. What cooperation measures are outside EGTCsâ€™ remit? EGTCs have no powers in the areas of police, justice or foreign policy. 5. Who can set up an EGTC? Regional and local authorities, central governments, bodies governed by public law, associations. 6. How is an EGTC set up? By signing a convention and adopting statutes, which must be notified to the relevant national authorities. The latter have three months to approve the participation of prospective members and must substantiate any refusals they may make by referring to the regulation....
“Inland Empire” BAVO
Discussing the current and future form of the European Union cannot happen in abstract space. According to Etienne Balibar the crucial issue vis-à-vis the EU is to decide what kind of status and rights the inhabitants of this new political entity would individually and collectively enjoy. Let us thus for a moment not consider the poor outsiders knocking at Europe’s gates, nor Europe’s illegal inhabitants subjected to the abstract (and inconsistent) rule of law. Instead, we should focus on the legitimate, common citizens that populate the EU – those for example that are neither outspokenly pro nor contra the union, neither living in the core-cities of the EU nor in the Eastern hinterland, etc. – and use them as critical yardstick in the discussion on the future of Europe. The Euregion Meuse-Rhine is not a case in splendid isolation. One merely has to check the website
of the EU to convince oneself of the fact that there are hardly any borders of the EU that are not part of a particular Euregion. With the Euregion Meuse-Rhine, we thus get a genuine picture of the future of Europe: a union suffering of a collective borderline syndrome, a union for which the internal borders are both the condition of possibility and impossibility, a union constantly fluctuating between a progressive and reactionary ideology, a union that opportunistically solves the dilemma of the local and the global and, moreover, a union in which all the differences (real or imagined) between the old nation states are exploited for cultural, social and economical profit. We thus have a union of 494 million people all happily living in an eternal in-between state, elastically crossing borders in order to benefit from a tax system here and enjoy a local dish there. In short, the future of the EU is not only that of an empire in continuous expansion eastwards but also that of an ‘inland empire’ that exploits its own internal borders. No wonder that the EU, from its very start, is constantly balancing at the verge of a nervous breakdown.
“Invest in Central Europe” CENTROPE
The CENTROPE region, strategically located in the heart of the “New Europe”, has posted the strongest economic growth of any region in the world, surpassed only by South Asia. Membership in the European Union has emerged as a magnificent success story. In their first two years of EU membership, the New Member States of the EU (NMS) recorded higher GDP growth (4 % – 5 % on average) than in the previous year. In 2005, GDP growth in the EU15 remained close to 3 percentage points below that of the NMS. The economic outlook for the years 2006 and 2007 continue to be outstanding, with forecasts predicting an annual growth rate of up to 6.5 % (Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies). The CENTROPE re-
gion, bringing together neighbouring areas in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, has been characterised by experts as an optimal gateway and springboard in the centre of Europe. As a diverse and highly advanced economic area, CENTROPE offers strategically favourable access to Western markets with their high level of purchasing power, as well as to the dynamic growth markets in Central and Eastern Europe (Austrian Institute of Economic Research). The four-country border region – a prosperous and dynamic economic area – attracts international investors with an impressive range of bottom-line competitive advantages (all of which can be found within a radius of 200 km): Extremely low corporate income tax rates, ranging from 16 % to 25 %; highly-qualified employees; extremely low labour costs and unit labour costs in some areas; an excellent infrastructure combined with traditional Central and Eastern European know-how; an optimal business location for headquarters and production based on a division of labour.
“Mini-Europe or Micro-Nation?” BAVO
Geographically speaking, the Euregion Meuse-Rhine is the trans-national area formed by cities like Maastricht, Heerlen, Aachen, Hasselt, Genk, Liège and Eupen – and their surroundings. What binds the latter is not only their relative proximity, but also the fact that they are all provincial towns that, within their respective nationstates, are marginally located. The mutual organisation and joint performance considerably sharpens the position and especially the image of these cities. From this perspective, the Euregion Meuse-Rhine is more then an actual geographical unit. It is in the first place a mental construction that helps people from different nations to conceive of their interests – economically, political, socio-cultural and even libidinal – on a trans-national scale. There are some plans, for instance, to enlarge the Euregion Meuse-Rhine by including strategic
satellite cities such as the university city of Leuven, brainport Eindhoven and even Venlo. This geographical flexibility is the strength of the Euregion Meuse-Rhine: whereas old nation-states frequently stumble upon their own borders, the Euregion Meuse-Rhine transgresses these effortlessly. In other words, the Euregion Meuse-Rhine can be conceptualised as the paradoxical entity of a potentially unlimited micro-state. It knows no borders except the unlimited reality in which it operates. The Euregion Meuse-Rhine is the mother of all Euregions as well as one of the most complex Euregions. It therefore carries with right the title of ‘test garden of Europe’. We endorse this official tale wholeheartedly - not without adding a modest recommendationhowever. The Euregion Meuse-Rhine should find the courage to no longer reduce its ambitions to being the intermediary between the nation-states and the EU and that it will take its mandate as the first outpost of a new, boundless Europe dead seriously. Our proposal is to introduce a real Euregional membership. The Euregion Meuse-Rhine is notnonly a ‘state without citizens’ but also a ‘foundation without members’. Introducing membership cards will oblige the Euregion Meuse-Rhine to stop acting like a fictitiousstate catering for a fictitious subject and for the first time to seduce and enthuse its inhabitants for the Euregional cause.
Transit Spaces / Transitraume, ed. Bittner, Hackenbroich, Vรถckler
“Transit spaces” are mostly associated with airports, motorway service areas and railway stations. They are stopovers somewhere on the way from A to B. It was no accident that the Bauhaus Kolleg V should have chosen this heading for a post-graduate programme to examine the changes taking place in eastern Europe cities that serve as case studies of a specific form of radical urban structural change in the early 21st century. In these cities global transformation processes are running head-on in to the social upheavals brought about
The term “transit spaces’ is thus a metaphor for the transitional phase the eastern European regions are currently undergoing. The Kolleg studied a selection of places along the corridor connecting Berlin with Moscow. As a geographical figure, this corridor itself constitutes a transit space. It passes through backward agricultural areas as well as border areas cordoned off by the military post-socialst urban areas and free-trade zones; it also crosses the routes taken by commuters, migrant labourers and businessmen. Transport corridors of this kind deteremine whether people and places are linked into urban developments or seperated from them, thus deciding on their propsects for the future. They stand for integration into the New Europe on a selective basis. The “Transit Spaces” proby the collapse of the socialst Eastern bloc states some 15 years ago.
gramme marked the start of a three-year series of topics examining new relationships between city, space, place and identity against the backdrop of global structural change. The Bauhaus Kolleg is an international urbn studies programme for architects, planners, artists and cultural scientists. The framework provided for its studes is special in that the disciplines and cultures it brings together pave the way for a trans-disciplinary and trans-national approach to city-related issues. This volume combines snapshots, investigations and reflections that offer telling insights into the urban dynamics and spatial changes affecting eastern European cities that are grappling both with their social heritage and global capitalism . It thus constitutes an anthropology of post-socialist urban development.
Traces of Autism, Cuyvers
“The Euregion Meuse-Rhine is possibly the least fascinating area imaginable: it does not boast a metropolis, lacks exotic appeal, sensational phenomena, a great past and explosive developments. The Euregion Meuse-Rhine counts 301 inhabitants per square kilometre (whereas the Randstad, the Dutch capital conurbation, has 1,250 inhabitants per square kilometre and the Brussels area counts 6,272 inhabitants per square kilometre). The Euregion Meuse-Rhine is set within a (rather light) legal framework and its outer borders are clearly defined. However, Euregional inhabitants have no particular bond with the Euregion; their identity is not or hardly deter-
mined by it and they do not consider themselves ‘Euregioners’ – what’s more, many of them are not even familiar with the term Euregion. The Euregion is far more determined by its inner borders – making up some 220 kilometres between the various countries – than by its outer borders. The research project Traces of autism intends to draw up an inventory of public space in the Euregion MeuseRhine, based on journeys made through the area and following a number of strict parameters. Public space can be defined as non-privatised space, the space that escapes control, the space that is not well-kept, the space of transgression, the space of the needy. For the researchers the inner borders of the Euregion function as a reference line and a kind of reading axis. Gypsies, refugees, migrants and drug addicts can function as indicators, although other indi-cators may become manifest. The emphasis will be on maps: existing maps will be collected and new maps will be drawn. During the entire research period, the French pedagogue Fernand Deligny (1913-1996) will be considered a supporter; he will accompany the researchers at every step. For thirty years Deligny followed autistic patients and merely registered their acts, without intervening; he only registered, without the desire to ‘learn’ anything. ‘The pedagogue following the footsteps of autistic patients’: it is an allegory that expresses the current position of the artist or intellectual. Deligny did not provide a method, merely a position: “Je ne voudrais pas qu’on s’y trompe. J’ai bien écrit en 1944, un petit livre qui parle de ce métier-là (educateur). Ce n’est pas le mien.””
Published on Aug 16, 2009