Border: France-Spain-Andorra

Date(s) of establishment: Treaty of the Pyrenees – 1659 (current border)
Length of border: 656,3 km
Regions concerned: France: Departments: Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Hautes-Pyrénées, Haute-Garonne, Ariège, Pyrénées orientales; Regions: Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Occitanie.
Spain: Regions: Basque Country, Navarra, Aragon, Catalonia
Principality of Andorra

European programme(s):

Overview

Introduction

Demarcated by the Treaty of the Pyrenees which was signed in 1659, the French-Spanish border, which for most of its length follows the ridge of the Pyrenees mountain range, is one of the borders that has been altered the least over the centuries and is the oldest unchanged border.

Its mountainous topography makes it relatively impermeable, with the exception of its coastal sections in the Basque Country and Catalonia that serve as cultural melting pots and transport corridors. In the mountainous central part of the territory, the crossing points are very limited: along the valley of the Garonne and above all in Cerdanya, a huge high plateau that is divided in two by the border between the Pyrénées-Orientales department in France and Spanish Catalonia.

In spite of the administrative difficulties (asymmetries in terms of competences and functioning), cooperation has greatly expanded in these border areas within the framework of the Bayonne Treaty and the Interreg IV POCTEFA programme. A specific feature of this border is therefore the very large number of cooperation agreements, both bilateral (at regional, departmental/provincial and local levels) and multilateral.

Transport is a major issue in these border regions since there are few crossing points, with the result that the road routes at either end of the Pyrenees are heavily congested. Cooperation also encompasses many other areas (culture, the environment, healthcare, training, economic development and natural spaces). Among the ongoing projects is that of the cross-border hospital in Cerdanya, which is a pioneer in the field of cross-border cooperation in healthcare.


Territory projects and institutional bodies for cooperation

Cross-border cooperation at the regional level

Working Community of the Pyrenees
Aquitaine-Euskadi Euroregion
Pyrenees-Mediterranean Euroregion
Cooperation convention between the Diputación Foral de Guipúzcoa and the Conseil général of Pyrénées-Atlantiques

Cross-border cooperation at the local level

Basque Eurocity
Catalan Cross-border Area
Consorcio Bidasoa-Txingudi
Pirineus-Cerdanya
Territoire "Pirineos-Pyrénées"

Cooperation between protected natural areas

Parc naturel régional des Pyrénées Catalanes and Parc natural Cadi-Moixero
Three Nations Pyrenees Park
Parc national des Pyrénées and Parc national Ordesa y Monte Perdido