Shortly after the Second World War, already in the 1950s, representatives of numerous European border areas got together in order to discuss the dismantling of border barriers and the possibilities for cross-border cooperation. This process had been developed parallel to the process of European integration.
They soon discovered, however, that due to the lack of legal and administrative competence, individual activities would only have poor success. Consequently, they began to establish regional associations on either side of the borders, all of them subject to the relevant national legislation, which covered areas of common concern and aimed to improve cross-border cooperation. In many cases, some of those regional associations joined together to form a cross-border umbrella association (a euroregion or similar structure). From the 1960s to date they have, at all political and administrative levels, persistently pursued a policy of improving the socio-cultural and economic situation for the people living in the border areas and of alleviating or eliminating border barriers.
The idea of setting up a European association, or “union for border regions”, was at first discussed in 1965 at the International Regional Planning Conference in Basel.
Following intensive preparatory work, 10 border regions set up a Standing Conference of European Border Regions on 17-18 June 1971 at Anholt Castle (EUREGIO). Alfred Mozerwas elected President and Georg Wiek became its Secretary.
The Conference chose to call itself the “Association of European Border Regions (AEBR)”.
Further information can be found in the section “History of AEBR” and in AEBR’s publication “Cooperation of European Border Regions – Review and Perspectives”, published in 2008 (order form for download).
Organisation of AEBR
The organs of AEBR are:
The General Assembly is the highest-ranking body. It elects the President and the members of the Executive Committee, decides on the admission and expulsion of members, and fixes the membership fees.
The Executive Committee
is elected for a term of 2 years. It is composed of the President, the first Vice-President, at least three further Vice-Presidents, the Chairman of the Advisory Committee, the Treasurer, the Auditors and at least 20 members as representatives of the border and cross-border regions, taking into account the regional balance. The tasks of the Executive Committee are the passing of basic statements of AEBR, collaboration with European and national institutions, organizations and societies. The appointment of the Secretary General
is also one of the responsibilities of the Executive Committee.
The President is the most senior AEBR representative and represents it externally. He has the right to take decisions, in agreement with the Secretary General, who has proxy and is authorized to represent the association.
Working languages of AEBR are German, English and French, and, when needed, Italian, Spanish and other languages of AEBR’s members (e.g. General Assembly and Annual Conference).
AEBR can open fora, form committees and call in representatives from European and political committees, associations or social groups who will be given an advisory vote. A special “Advisory Committee for Cross-border Co-operation” (the “Beirat”), which is composed of scientists and practitioners from all across Europe, has been given the assignment to advise AEBR on all issues of cross-border co-operation. This body can also prepare proposals on how to overcome current problems arising in the field of cross-border cooperation.
The following thematic fora are currently active:
Fonte: AEBR - Association of European Border Regions - http://www.aebr.eu/