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A cross-border strategy for the Franco-Belgian Ardennes

July 2019

A cross-border strategy for the Franco-Belgian Ardennes

In May 2019, Ardenne Métropole and the Belgian association of municipalities Idelux embarked on the drawing-up of a “Strategic plan for the development of the cross-border territory of the Franco-Belgian Ardennes”.

This initiative, which comes in the wake of the incorporation of the Ardennes into the Grand Est Region in 2015, and above all the signature of the Ardennes Compact on 15 March 2019, an agreement that intends "to make the Ardennes a department of the future", demonstrates the desire of local players to place the issue of cross-border co-development at the heart of their concerns.

Like other territories in the region that have been part of the cross-border dynamic for several years, this strategic plan seeks to be a tool to assist forward-looking decision-making and a concrete roadmap to identify more or less long-term cross-border actions.

More specifically, the work underway should help to improve Franco-Belgian dialogue with respect to the Ardennes, to raise the territory’s profile within the Grand Est Region and Wallonia, and to jointly prepare for the European funds’ 2021-2027 programming period.

At a more operational level, the aim is to put in place a permanent mechanism for cross-border forward-looking reflection, to pinpoint different possible areas for cross-border development, and to thereby help with the development of relevant projects.

This exercise, which is being carried out jointly by the MOT and Idelux, notably comprises a series of interviews with the local players and three work-focused workshops. It is due to be completed in early 2020.

Photo: The Place Ducale in Charleville-Mézières.

Read the éditorial by Boris Ravignon, Mayor of Charleville-Mézières and President of Ardenne Métropole

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