Editorial from Damien Castelain, President of the Lille European Metropolis, President of the Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai EurometropolisApril 2015
On 1 January 2015, the Communauté Urbaine de Lille (Urban Community of Lille) became the Métropole Européenne de Lille (MEL – Lille European Metropolis). The MEL is one of only two cross-border metropolises to be recognised as such by law, alongside Strasbourg.
This new status reaffirms the role played by our city authority as an engine for cooperation with our Belgian neighbours. The Lille metropolis has always been a pioneer in the area of cross-border cooperation, having participated in the creation of Europe's first European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation, in 2008.
This commitment continues today: we involve our Belgian neighbours in consultation about our major development projects and the revision of our town planning documents. There are many infrastructure projects that link our territories: the plan to construct a suburban rail network between Lille and the nearby former mining area, with a branch going into Belgium, the Seine-Nord-Europe Canal, etc.
The MEL's cross-border cooperation programme will reaffirm our desire for permanent governance at the level of the Eurometropolis, around a coordinated strategy in the area of territorial development and services to the population.
Our objective is above all to improve the daily lives of those who cross the border for work, study or leisure activities. I am therefore very pleased about the initiative launched by the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to identify and eliminate some of the legal obstacles that hamper cross-border territories.
Photo: Antoine Repessé.Back to list