The governance of the Chaves-Verín Eurocity
The system of governance of the Chaves-Verín Eurocity is based on bilateral cooperation between two cities, intended for extension to the Portuguese and Spanish municipalities on either side of the Tâmega Valley. Members of the Eixo Atlantico network and the “Galicia–North Portugal” EGTC, the Chaves-Verín Eurocity is organised around a Steering Committee at the political level, and a Secretariat. The project also comprises two other organs: the “Support Commission” and the “Technical Support Cabinet”.
This body is the driving force for cross-border cooperation, and is composed of representatives from the Commission for Coordination and Development of the North of Portugal Region (CCDR-N), the regional government of Galicia, the Galicia-North Portugal working group, the Diputación de Ourense, the Eixo-Atlantico association and the municipalities of Chaves and Verín. Its objective is to provide impetus and technical assistance to the project. In the case of political conflicts, it is responsible for their resolution. It is also this committee that approves the budget and coordinates strategies between the different bodies.
While the Steering Committee is mostly composed of politicians, the Support Commission is principally made up of technicians. Its mission is to identify the administrative and legal barriers from the different national systems of administration that could form obstacles to cooperation. The commission meets annually, and communicates its findings to the Steering Committee, which gives the necessary impetus for the resolution of the identified difficulties.
The Secretariat is composed of the Vice-Presidents of the Chaves and Verín councils. They are integrated within the Steering Committee as secretary general and administrator. The Committee is in charge of the coordination and integration of projects and activities within the cooperation area. This secretariat thus enabled the implementation of communication between the conurbation and partners at the regional and local levels.
Technical Support Cabinet
Two technicians and an administrative assistant work within this Support Cabinet. It aims to formulate new proposals for the project, which are subsequently approved by the Steering Committee. It has a dual objective: to provide information to the cross-border information centres, and collect propositions and initiatives from inhabitants.
Portuguese, Spanish and Galician are the official languages for this cooperation. Support from the Interreg IV A which ensured financing for the project for three years. Along with the EU funds, the project stakeholders are also counting on financial support from the local and regional authorities.
EUROPEAN GROUPIN OF TERRITORIAL COOPERATION
In 2013 The Chaves-Verín Eurocity is transformed into a European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation. The Eurocity was one of six cross-border conurbations that were partners in the URBACT “EGTC" project led by the MOT between 2008 and 2010, on the topic of governance in cross-border conurbations.