Border regions represent 40% of the EU territory. Home to a third of the EU’s population, the development of these areas is essential for their competitiveness. Cross-border territories are key areas within the EU, where both the effects of movement towards European integration as well as the remaining obstacles to integration can best be studied, whether this relates to the mobility of people, services, goods or capital. This is why border regions are often described as the laboratories for European integration. However, obstacles to cooperation remain because of the lack of knowledge of the ‘other’ (culture, language, judicial-social-political system) and lack of appropriate methodologies for intercultural work. This creates a need for specialised training, counselling and support to be adapted to the specific characteristics of each frontier.
WHO WE ARE
The Transfrontier Euro-Institut Network (TEIN), formed in 2010, now brings together 14 partners from 8 border regions in Europe. Its unique feature is that it consists of universities, research institutes and training centres which are dedicated to the practical business of cross-border cooperation in Europe.
TEIN is led by the Euro-Institut, created in 1993 in Kehl/Strasbourg on the French/German/Swiss border with the aim of facilitating cross-border cooperation. All members have subscribed to a common charter to ensure the organization of the network and the quality of its output. TEIN partners come from maritime borders, old European borders, new eastern borders, post-conflict borders and external borders. Because of this, TEIN is able to measure the need for capacity building in cross-border cooperation throughout Europe.
TEIN Members are real actors of the cross-border cooperation. Their work involves cross-border training and facilitation, managing cross-border projects, providing mentoring, training and advice for cross-border actors, and researching on cross-border issues. In this respect, TEIN can be seen as representing a genuinely bottom-up approach.
TEIN has been funded by the EU Leonardo da Vinci Programme (Leonardo Partnership 2010-2012 and Leonardo Transfer of Innovation 2012-2014).
WHAT WE DO
TEIN’s objective is to build capacity in cross-border contexts to strengthen European integration. To that end, TEIN Members follow the aim of facilitating cross-border cooperation and providing practical solutions to European transfrontier issues.
TEIN’s vision is one where know-how, training and best practices are exchanged freely and generously across European borders.
In that respect, TEIN Partners:
- Develop training and research that is ‘fit for purpose’ for cross-border issues and in cross-border contexts;
- Capitalize on learning from the different regional initiatives;
- Work on new products such as
- transferable training modules (e.g. training for cross-border project managers);
- methods (e.g. needs-analysis methods in cross-border regions);
- tools (e.g. impact assessment toolkit for cross-border cooperation);
- Produce relevant research to be disseminated to actors involved in transfrontier cooperation at different levels;
- Increase knowledge and awareness of cross-border issues (at local, regional, national and European level) by producing high quality work in this field.
KEY STEPS TO SUCCESS
One of the first step, the TEIN members achieved was to share and exchange their expertise and learned experience of cross-border cooperation in their respective regions. To do this, they are working jointly to identify and develop techniques and practical tools for cross-border cooperation as well as training opportunities for practitioners.
At the very beginning, the network selected the following three tools for ‘export’ to other border regions and adaptation to those regions:
- Impact Assessment Toolkit for Cross Border Cooperation created by the Centre for Cross Border Studies (Ireland/Northern Ireland) in collaboration with the Euro-Institut (Germany/France/Switzerland)
- Toolkit for the Moderation of Cross Border Meetings created by the Euro-Institute
- Toolkit for the Training of Managers of Cross Border Projects created by the Euro-Institute
Such tools can help and support cross-border cooperation to become both effective and efficient. They provide a number of key steps to help ensure the success of such cooperation projects:
- A clear conception of cross-border projects so that they tackle a problem/unused potential that is best dealt with on a cross-border basis and provide cooperative ‘added value’ in the process (Impact Assessment Toolkit).
- The sensitive moderation of cross-border projects so that the actors are well-prepared – socially and culturally – to make them effective (Toolkit for the Moderation of Cross Border Meetings).
- The successful implementation of cross-border projects in the different circumstances of a range of European cross-border regions through working with key leaders, the project managers (Toolkit for the Training of Managers of Cross Border Projects).
During a session in February 2012, the partners were trained to the use of the Impact Assessment Toolkit. From October 2012 to September 2014, they worked then on the transfer and adaption of the two other toolkits on 4 pilot border regions within the PAT-TEIN project (Professionalizing Actors of Transfrontier Cooperation within TEIN). For more information, visit the PAT-TEIN website here.
For a short description please find the TEIN brochure below.