Editorial by Boris Ravignon, Mayor of Charleville-Mézières and President of Ardenne MétropoleJuly 2019
"One of the main features of the French department of the Ardennes is without doubt its proximity to Belgium. This proximity is geographical, of course, but also cultural, historical, economic and societal.
Having been born here, in Charleville-Mézières, this intimate connection always seemed self-evident to me: what is more natural for an inhabitant of Sedan, Givet or Charleville-Mézières than to cross the border to visit their ‘cousins’ in Dinant, Namur, Bouillon or Libramont? In fact, I had to (briefly…) leave the Ardennes to really grasp how self-evident it is and to fully appreciate this.
I know that we are not the only ones to live in a cross-border territory, but millions of other Europeans, to speak of our continent alone, do not have this good fortune. For we are very fortunate in this, without any doubt! But I have the impression that, with a few rare exceptions, we still find it very difficult to take advantage of this good fortune and to make the most, all together, of the opportunities that it can offer.
This is the purpose of the strategic plan for the development of the Franco-Belgian Ardennes cross-border territory that the MOT and Idelux are jointly working on. Tourism, training, healthcare, territorial facilities, culture, commerce, security, higher education, services to the population, and so on: the potential areas for action are huge. Some have already given rise to concrete initiatives, but we must and can do better. Yours cross-borderly…"
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