European experiences in the area of cross-border economic developmentSeptember 2014
As part of its project on cross-border economic development, in June 2014 the MOT travelled to several European borders in order to meet players involved in cooperation in this sector and to gather examples of good practices. Read about some of these experiences...
The German-Danish cross-border region (the Syddanmark region and the Land of Schleswig-Holstein) benefits from a very particular geographical situation. With the North Sea on one side and the Baltic on the other, the climatic conditions are very favourable for onshore and offshore wind farms. The Danish side, which is primarily agricultural, has also extensively developed the exploitation of biomass. The region is thus one of the most technologically advanced in the field of renewable energy in Europe and led between 2008 and 2013 an Interreg project known as FURGY, which was designed to map the sector’s capacities, to coordinate the activities of the German and Danish clusters and to foster research relating to the storage and energy efficiency of wind power.
Situated on the route between Hamburg and Copenhagen, close to the Scandinavian markets and on the threshold of continental Europe, the region constitutes a leading logistical hub. In Padborg, a Danish border town, there is the largest area for refrigerated storage in northern Europe. Logistics has thus been identified as an economic strongpoint to be developed at the cross-border level. In this regard, Interreg CB-Log project (2009-2012) has helped to set up a platform that brings together representatives of the transport and logistics industry, as well as researchers/academics, with the aim of formulating an overall marketing strategy around the Jutland corridor. Infrastructures have been strengthened and actions to promote the sector have been carried out among young people.
Separated only by 60 km, Vienna and Bratislava are the two European capitals that are closest together. Nearby are also two regional capitals: Györ, in Hungary, and Brno, in the Czech Republic. Between these four countries and around the Vienna-Bratislava axis, cross-border cooperation (known as the “Centrope region”) has great potential, notably through the stepping-up of innovative projects linking businesses, laboratories and universities. The economies of these territories mutually reinforce one another, with all sides benefiting, as illustrated by the large automotive industry in Hungary and Slovakia, which provides Austrian SMEs with openings in the area of innovation.
With the prospect of strong economic growth in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, the ultimate aim is to ensure the effectiveness of cooperation and the continuity of the economic area and labour pool. That is why the Land of Lower Austria has developed an original project, which has been adopted by the neighbouring Länder and then become a cross-border project, with the setting-up of equivalent programmes on the other side of Austria’s borders: its objective is to acquaint children with the languages of the neighbouring countries from nursery school onwards. This strategy helps children to become aware of the region’s cross-border dimension and the culture of the neighbouring country, but also to encourages the learning of foreign languages, which is essential for the development of cooperation.
The border between Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands is a territory of highly-developed cooperation, as is shown by the activities of the Euregio Meuse-Rhine at the institutional level and the TTR-ELAt region (Top Technology Region – Eindhoven-Leuven-Aachen triangle) at the economic level. This region shares recognised expertise in the chemicals-pharmaceuticals, materials and electronic products industries.
Since the mid-2000s, the TTR-ELAt partners have been working together to become even more competitive internationally thanks to cross-border exchanges. Many relationships of this kind have been formed and the public authorities are supporting these initiatives. For example, the Top Technology Cluster (TTC) and Cross-border Cluster Stimulation (GCS) have contributed to the creation of cross-border consortia and have supported these partnerships in their first steps towards the creation of innovative products in the areas of life sciences, advanced materials, ICT and energy.
More info about the “integrated economic development of cross-border territories” project being carried out by the MOT.
Project co-funded by the European Union. Europe is committed in France with the ERDF. www.europ-act.euBack to list