Editorial by Pascal Curie, Vice-President of the Greater Besançon Metropolis in charge of forward planning, regional development and strategy for the territoryOctober 2019
The Greater Besançon Metropolis is particular in being the first major urban centre one gets to when coming from the Swiss Jura Arc, while at the same time being relatively far away from it. The Jura mountain range is both a geographical obstacle and a territorial asset; indeed, the border region is a well-preserved area with a wealth of shared natural and cultural features.
The joint Franco-Swiss application for the area’s expertise in watchmaking and artistic mechanics to be included on UNESCO’s list of humanity’s intangible cultural heritage, submitted in March, is a good illustration of the many cultural and economic aspects that link us. Highly-skilled labour from Greater Besançon benefits the Swiss economy and, conversely, our research laboratories and our firms specialising in micro- and medical technologies create value thanks to synergies with the Swiss market. Under the Greater Besançon Metropolis territorial project, strengthening cooperation with Switzerland is therefore a priority.
For there are opportunities for co-developing cross-border metropolitan functions based on our common assets that remain to be incorporated into our shared strategic vision. It is up to us, local authorities, but also government departments and chambers of commerce and industry, to facilitate initiatives by cultural, academic and economic players by joining forces. This is a major issue for the Greater Besançon area, the Franco-Swiss Jura Arc and the whole of the Region.
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