The Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) was founded in 1971 by the first border regions which had started cross-border cooperation in Europe after the Second World War, strengthening the integration of citizens across national boundaries.
Today it counts some 100 members from the European Union and its neighbouring countries.
AEBR’s mission and work are regulated by the Statute and inspired by the European Charter for Border and Cross-Border Regions.
AEBR works on behalf of European border and cross-border regions with the aim to:
- highlight their role in the political landscape;
- represent their common interests;
- enhance cooperation between border regions throughout Europe;
- promote exchanges of experience, information and solutions to common obstacles.
Border regions face specific challenges because of their particular geographic position – a distance from the economic and political heartland of their country which often results in poor infrastructure, public services and goods provision. In these territories cross-border cooperation is essential, especially because it is very often crucial to keep value chains, labour market, and other economic and social lifelines.
By cooperating with their neighbouring territories, border regions can offer their citizens services and possibilities on a 360-degree perspective.
For these reasons, border regions have specific opportunities, responsibilities and activities in the political landscape. AEBR works with them to help local and regional authorities best utilise these opportunities.
As the only Europe-wide organisation representing border and cross-border regions, AEBR serves as an important political instrument. At the same time, AEBR acts as a fundamental platform to promote and advise local, regional, national and European policymakers on cross-border cooperation related issues.
For its unique role, AEBR is necessary to:
-strengthening and developing further cross-border cooperation; and
-enhancing European integration while guaranteeing regional diversity.