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Charter of the TEIN

Transfrontier Euro-Institut Network

Preamble

Covering 40% of the European Union (EU) territory, home to almost one third of its population and producing 30% of its GDP, border regions represent both a challenge and an opportunity for the future of European integration. Over recent decades, freedom of movement and the development of a continuously further integrated single market deeply transformed European internal borders. Border regions, where cross-border flows are part of citizens’ everyday lives, developed from peripheral to key areas.

In order to reduce economic, social and territorial disparities in Europe, cross-border and territorial cooperation is essential and thus has been supported at various levels, either through the funding of projects or the inception of legal mechanisms of cooperation.

However, it has been apparent in recent years that despite numerous positive effects many obstacles of various natures remain[1]. Among them, obstacles related to culture, language, and the judicial-social-political system are prominent. There is thus a definite need for specialised training, counselling and methodologies for intercultural work to be adapted to the specific characteristics of each frontier.

It also became clear that if the difficulties appear at the local level, overcoming the obstacles often require actions at different levels.[2] Sharing knowledge and exchanging best practices between different borders in Europe are then crucial matters.

Bringing together universities and training institutes, the TEIN creates a dialogue between researchers and practitioners in order to develop a coordinated solution to this need for knowledge, competences, tools and support.

 


[1] In particular the Cross Border review as an initiative of DG REGIO, European Commission

[2] Communication from the European Commission Boosting growth and cohesion in EU border regions,  COM(2017) 534, 20.09.2017

 

ARTICLE I: Objective and activities

According to the principles stated in the preamble, TEIN brings together training organisations and universities with the aim of facilitating cross-border cooperation and providing practical solutions to European transfrontier issues.

The TEIN is a strong network of excellence on transfrontier training, research, counselling and support.

TEIN’s objective is to build capacity in cross-border and transfrontier contexts to strengthen European integration.

In order to achieve its objective, TEIN will undertake the following activities:

  • Exchange best practices;
  • Analyse the specificity of training and research on cross-border issues and in cross-border contexts;
  • Capitalise on and draw synergies from the different local initiatives;
  • Work on new products like
    • ­   transferable training modules (e.g. training for cross-border project managers);
    • ­   methods (e.g. need-analysis methods in cross-border regions);
    • ­   tools (e.g. impact assessment toolkit for cross-border cooperation);
  • Produce relevant research in this field whose results are disseminated to actors involved in transfrontier cooperation;
  • Guarantee the quality of cross-border training throughout Europe by developing an accredited certification system for:
    •    cross-border structures built on the model of the Euro-Institut;
    •    cross-border training programmes;
    •    cross-border research programmes;
  • Contribute to the development of Bachelors and Masters modules in cross-border cooperation.

The TEIN will also:

  • ­   Enable bilateral projects in fields of common interest (exchange of learning units, expertise and lecturers, common research programmes, participation in conferences);
  • ­   Increase knowledge and awareness of cross-border issues (at local, regional, national and European level) by producing high quality work in this field.

ARTICLE II: Organisation

1.      The Lead Partner

Composition

The TEIN is led by the Euro-Institut, Institut für die grenzüberschreitende Zusammenarbeit based in Kehl, Germany.

Role

The Lead Partner will:

  • ­   Coordinate and support the members and the activities of the network;
  • ­   Coordinate the Steering Committee;
  • ­   Chair the General Assemblies;
  • ­   Assume the accounting activities for the network. This does not include the financial management of joint projects.
  • ­   Act as service provider for the other members if needed (for example, to help set up a Euro-Institut in another border region);
  • ­   Maintain contacts with other European border actors who might wish to join the TEIN;
  • ­   Represent the Network and contribute to lobbying activities;
  • ­   Coordinate the communication activities of the network.

2.      The General Assembly

Composition

The General Assembly is composed by all full TEIN members. Associated TEIN members can attend the General Assembly.

Meetings

The General Assembly takes place at least annually, at the same time as the annual TEIN conference. The full members take turns in organising the General Assemblies and related TEIN conferences.

The annual TEIN conference is a public event bringing together practitioners, researchers and other actors or stakeholders of cross-border cooperation from the local, regional or European level.

Aiming at adding to the visibility of the network, the size and format of the annual TEIN conference are to be decided by the organising TEIN member and can vary depending on resources available, context and target audience.  It can also be organised in conjunction with or as part of other TEIN projects.

Role

The General Assembly:

  • ­   Takes note of the balance sheet related to the ongoing year;
  • ­   Takes note of the overview of ongoing activities;
  • ­   Takes note of members’ joint projects, project ideas and initiatives;
  • ­   Adopts the budget and the work plan for the coming year;
  • ­   Determines the annual membership fees;
  • ­   Elects the Steering Committee;
  • ­   Evaluates the members;
  • ­   Decides for the admission, suspension or exclusion of a member;
  • ­   Can modify the present Charter.

Decision-making procedure.

All the decisions shall be taken by a two-thirds qualified majority vote of the present full members. The quorum required is half of the full members. Each full member has one vote. Any full member may give its written proxy to another full member. Any full member can accumulate up to two proxies. A model of the statement of proxy is set out in Annex VI.

Associated members have no vote but can express their opinions, which can be taken into account by the voting members.

Decision can be taken via a written procedure.

3.      The Steering Committee

Composition

The TEIN Steering Committee is comprised of the Lead Partner and a representative of four other full members. Each full member may  run for the Steering Committee election and if elected, appoint one representative. The Steering Committee is elected for three years by the General Assembly, preferably renewing its composition. The election follows the decision-making procedure of the General Assembly. If the representative of an elected member can no longer serve on the steering committee for any reason, the member may reappoint another representative.

Meetings

Steering Committee meets at least once annually before the General Assembly, if necessary by videoconference.

Role

The Steering Committee:

  • ­   Prepares the balance sheet related to the ongoing year;
  • ­   Prepares the overview of ongoing activities;
  • ­   Prepares the budget and working plan for the following year;
  • ­   Interviews applicant institutions wishing to join TEIN by taking into consideration questions put forward by TEIN partners.

Decision-making procedure

All the decisions shall be taken by an absolute majority vote. In exceptional cases, decisions can be made via a written procedure. Because of its financial engagement for TEIN, the Lead Partner has the right to veto the budget.

4.      The project groups

Composition

A project group will be set up for each project consisting of participating TEIN full and associated members.

Each member can choose in which project it wants to be involved. A full or associated member who joins a project group commits to fully contribute to its work.

The partners do not have to take part in all projects but it is recommended that they participate in at least one project per year.

Meetings

The project group can meet as often as required, if necessary by videoconference.

Role

A project group:

  • ­   Develops a project related to TEIN’s objectives.
  • ­   Informs the Lead Partner and the General Assembly about the project and its evolutions.
  • ­   Is responsible for the financial management of the project.
  • ­   Contributes to TEIN’s visibility by using the TEIN logo at all stages of the project.

Decision-making procedure

Each project group defines its decision-making procedure.

Outputs

The outputs of common projects (final reports, training tools etc.) are then at the disposal of all TEIN members: each member of the network can use and disseminate these if appropriate credit is given.  The outputs must feature the TEIN logo along with the logos of participating members and funders.

ARTICLE III: Membership

The TEIN members are organisations and universities brought together in order to facilitate cross-border cooperation and to provide practical solutions to the problems faced by the EU and border regions in Europe in building capacity on transfrontier issues.

The list of the full and associated members is set out in the Annex I.

1.      Full members

Definition

The TEIN full members are institutions working in the field of cross-border training, counselling and research, facilitating cross-border processes and building capacity in cross-border cooperation.

Role

All full members are expected to:

  • ­   Attend the TEIN General Assembly;
  • ­   Propose new projects and products for the TEIN;
  • ­   Work on joint projects which the TEIN agrees to undertake;
  • ­   Exchange best practices and share information with the other TEIN members;
  • ­   Abide by the relevant quality criteria in cross-border training and research;
  • ­   Update their identity and reference grids  regularly;
  • ­   Contribute to the professionalization of actors in their own cross-border region (without competition with other members);
  • ­   Contribute to the communication of the TEIN (confer Article V);
  • ­   Represent the network and contribute to local and regional politics of the European institutions in fields of TEIN’s competences;
  • ­   Pay an annual membership fee.

2.      Associated members

Definition

Associated members are institutions working in the field of cross-border cooperation, lobbying, counselling, training or research who are willing to work together with TEIN for the achievement of the objectives listed above.

If an associated member decides to work with TEIN members on a joint product, it is subject to the same rules as a TEIN full member, including payment of an associated membership fee.

Role

Associated members can:

  • ­   Attend the General Assembly and other meetings;
  • ­   Propose new projects and products for the TEIN;
  • ­   Work on TEIN joint projects and disseminate its results if appropriate credit is given;
  • ­   Exchange best practices and share information with the TEIN members;
  • ­   Abide by the relevant quality criteria agreed by TEIN in their cross-border training and research;
  • ­    Contribute to the communication of the TEIN (confer Article IV);
  • ­   Represent the network and contribute to local and regional politics of the European institutions in fields of TEIN’s competences.

3.      Individual members

Individual members are external experts, researchers and other interested persons working in the field of cross-border cooperation, lobbying, counselling, training or research who are willing to work together with TEIN for the achievement of the objectives listed above.

If an individual member decides to work on a joint TEIN product it is subject to the same rules as a TEIN full member including payment of an individual membership fee

Role

Individual members can:

  • ­   Attend the General Assembly and other meetings;
  • ­   Propose new projects and products for the TEIN;
  • ­   Work on TEIN joint projects and disseminate its results if appropriate credit is given;
  • ­   Exchange best practices and share information with the TEIN members;
  • ­   Abide by the relevant quality criteria agreed by TEIN in their cross-border training and research;
  • ­   Contribute to the communication of the TEIN (confer Article IV).

4.      Applications for membership

A training, counselling or research institution with a cross-border competence can apply to become part of the network. A member of the network can also propose another member or associated member, with the General Assembly taking the final decision.

In order to become a TEIN member, the applicant has to agree to and respect all articles of the Charter.

The applicant will be asked to fill in a membership application form and pass an interview with the Steering Committee. All full members receive the completed application form as well as a summary of the interview. They may also put questions forward they would like ask the applicant or request further information.

The membership application form is set out in the Annex II.

5.      Evaluation of a member

A full or associated member can be evaluated at any time by decision of the General Assembly, when it is deemed not to have respected one or more articles of the TEIN Charter and its quality criteria.

The quality criteria of the TEIN are set out in the Annex III.

6.      Suspension or exclusion of a member

If a full or associated member has not respected one or more articles of the present TEIN Charter, by decision of the General Assembly it could be suspended. The General Assembly considers on a case-by-case basis the terms and conditions of a member’s suspension concerning for instance the length, voting rights, participation to assemblies, steering committees and project groups. At the end of the suspension period, the General Assembly will take the decision to:

  • ­   reintegrate the member
  • ­   extend the suspension
  • ­   exclude the member from the network.

In severe cases, the General Assembly could decide a member’s exclusion without a prior suspension period.

In emergency cases, the Steering Committee can at any time propose the suspension or exclusion of a member. The General Assembly will then examine the case and vote on the suspension or exclusion of said member by written procedure.

7.      Voluntary withdrawal of membership

A full or associated member of the TEIN can voluntary decide the temporary or definitive withdrawal of its membership.

ARTICLE IV: Communication

1.      Internal communication

All the TEIN members will:

  • ­   Annually update contact details in members’ list;
  • ­   Keep the Lead Partner informed about new products developed and projects undertaken in relation with TEIN activities;
  • ­   Inform the Lead Partner when they make use of the communication elements of the TEIN (such as the logo);
  • ­   Communicate any relevant information to the network (i.e. call for projects, invitation to conferences etc.).

2.      External communication

All the TEIN members will:

  • ­   Promote the TEIN as “Ambassador” at local, regional, national, European and international level, with the support of the other partners in their countries and regions;
  • ­   Use the logo and communication tools of the TEIN;
  • ­   Help the Lead Partner maintain the TEIN Website by:
    • Updating their identity and reference grids annually
    • Writing articles for news section
    • Providing descriptions of joint projects and initiatives.

ARTICLE V: Financial management

1.      Funding

All full, associated and individual members of TEIN have to pay annual membership fees, which are determined by the General Assembly. The fees regulations are set out in Annex IV.

The TEIN is also funded by its members’ contribution in kind, for example working time and other resources.

The TEIN members will seek other funding possibilities.

The TEIN accepts donations.

2.      Accounting

The accountings activities are realised by the Lead Partner. This does not include the financial management of joints projects.

The budget is prepared annually by the Steering Committee and voted by the General Assembly. In the budget:

  • ­   A specific percentage of the network’s financial resources will be allocated annually to the Lead Partner. This will facilitate the Lead Partner in coordinating the network and developing the necessary promotion and communication tools.
  • ­   A specific amount will be given every year to the full member responsible for the organisation of the General Assembly and the annual conference.

A budget model is set out in the Annex V and will be adapted every year.

The balance sheet is prepared annually by the Steering Committee and presented at the General Assembly.

 


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