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Cross-Border Cooperation Structures in Europe

Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future


Edited By Luis Dominguez Castro and Iva Miranda Pires

Since its inception, one of the distinguishing features of the project of European integration has been the overcoming of internal borders. This aim has had one of the most remarkable outcomes in the history of cross-border cooperation, resulting in the creation of territorial structures known as Euroregions, with or without legal personality, and with substantial financial support from EU institutions. This distinctive element is characteristic of the models and achievements of cross-border cooperation in Europe and North America.
At a time of reflection about the European integration model and its future, it is interesting to investigate the different aspects involved in cross-border cooperation, from a historical perspective projected onto the future. This volume looks at cross-border cooperation from a multiplicity of perspectives, examining its motivations, its actors, its inclusion in the context of international relations, its organizational models, its outcomes and its impact on labour markets, economic development, neighbourhood policies and the creation of new identities. These issues are analysed within a number of different European geographical locations, assessing how far we have come and exploring the road that still lies ahead.
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The Emergence and Governance of Euroregions. the Case of the EUREGIO on the Dutch-German Border

1.  A Short History of the EUREGIO


The Emergence and Governance of Euroregions

The Case of the EUREGIO on the Dutch-German Border


Business School, Imperial College London

The EUREGIO is a Dutch-German Euroregion which can be defined as a cross-border region (CBR) bringing together contiguous local authorities across European borders. With a history dating back to the 1950s, the EUREGIO is among the oldest Euroregions. The EUREGIO has also been one of the main protagonists behind the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) that over the last decades acted to spread the Euroregion model across the European territory.

This chapter has several objectives. Firstly, it introduces the case of the EUREGIO and presents evidence on its history, organisational set-up and policies1. Secondly, it analyses the context conditions under which the EUREGIO emerged and the governance structures that were created as a result. Particular emphasis is put on the position and role of the EUREGIO within the wider context of the European multi-level governance framework generated by EU cohesion policy. The chapter concludes with an attempt to evaluate the success and impact of the EUREGIO and a discussion of the challenges related to the EUREGIO’s ← 95 | 96 → dual role as representative of local authority interests and EU cohesion policy implementation agency.

The EUREGIO includes part of the Gelderland, Overijessel and Drenthe provinces on the Dutch side, and parts of the Länder North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) and Lower Saxony on the German side. Comprising 13,...

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