Cooperation between regions and territorial integration

The seminar "Regions and Territorial Integration" was carried out during the XV General Assembly of ORU Fogar, with the support of the Zona de Integración Centro Oeste de América del Sur - Central West Integration Zone of South America (ZICOSUR). It proved the extraordinary potential of these initiatives in various spheres, from food and agriculture issues to the challenges related to digital transformation. The goal of the event was to share experiences and deliberate about the evolution of different cases of territorial integration of regions, both in Europe and in Latin America.

The agenda included 6 panels: 5 experiences of sub-national territorial integration with different profiles: José Luis Jiménez from the Mancomunidad de los Andes (Peru); Beatriz Eugenia Pino from the Pacific Administrative and Planning Region (Colombia); Mikel Antón from the Euroregion: New Aquitaine, Basque Country, Navarra; Rafael Giménez Capdevila from the Pyrenees Work Community; and Mariano Fernández of ZICOSUR; and a keynote address by Martín Guillermo Ramírez, Secretary General of the Association of European Border Regions.

Martin Guillermo introduced the experiences of the regions on the Franco-German border as a historical example of integration. He highlighted, however, an example that he said was part of a “new generation of integration”: the Cerdanya cross-border hospital. In this hospital, located in Puigcerdà, French and Spanish citizens on both sides of the border are treated.

The statements highlighted institutional aspects, objectives and the main challenges faced by each of these experiences. And it is that, in the most diverse geographies, these experiences converge in territorial cooperation as a management instrument, but also in the need to promote decentralized governance for the well-being and development of the societies that make up their territories.

The event left important conclusions, among which the potential of territorial integration to address problems and challenges that make sustainable development stand out; the importance of having civil society, companies and universities in these projects; and the ability of the integrated regions to act together to influence central governments.

Conclusively, it was proved that the future governance, always decentralized, must promote solutions beyond national or regional borders. Thus, the work of regional integration must constitute a framework for regionalism.


Video of the Seminar

 

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