The Basque Country-Aquitaine Euro-region unveils the grant programme for common projects
The Basque Country-Aquitaine Euro-region (AECT) Assembly, chaired by Alain Rousset, Premier of Aquitaine, was held yesterday to approve the budget and lines of action for 2012.
The main lines of action that the Euro-region will undertake this year are the launching of the call for applications for the Basque Country-Aquitaine Common Fund grants for cross-border cooperation projects, the preparing of a strategic plan and conducting a comprehensive diagnostics of sustainable mobility along the Bayonne-San Sebastián axis.
The Basque Country-Aquitaine Common Fund, with 900,000 euros earmarked, is an instrument that annually finances around fifty cross-border projects in different areas, including innovation, economic development, education, culture, folklore, etc. This year and for the first time, the Euro-region will be solely responsible for managing the aforementioned Fund, which will facilitate the submission of the applications through a one-stop shop instead of two-stops, on either side of the border, which had previously been the case. The project management will also be simplified as a single lead manager will be appointed.
Despite the current difficult economic situation, both institutions have endeavoured to ensure the upkeep of the Fund, as it is considered to be a strategic tool for basic and territorial cooperation as part of the project to set up a common area.
On the other hand, the Euro-region will work on a strategic plan with the involvement of all the stakeholders. The planned timeline is until 2020 and it will focus on three main lines: sustainable mobility, inclusive, smart and sustainable growth, and consolidating regional identity. As part of this plan, the Euro-region is going to perform a comprehensive diagnostics of mobility along the Bayonne-San Sebastián axis, with the emphasis on the railway as the basis for that mobility.
The Basque Country-Aquitaine Euro-region was established last December when the Byelaws were signed by the Basque Premier, Lehendakari Patxi López, and the leader of the Conséil Régionale d'Aquitaine, Alain Rousset de los Estatutos. The Basque Country-Aquitaine Euro-region seeks to consolidate the cooperation between both regions in order for the region to occupy a significant place in Europe. Its main objectives include transversally and globally cooperating, developing territorial cooperation with a European perspective and consolidating the visibility of both regions in Europe.
Henceforth, both administrations will work together to organise their presence in the different cross-border entities in order to achieve their objectives more effectively and to manage the public resources more efficiently.