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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


Viadrina Center B/orders In Motion

Europa-Universität Viadrina, located in Frankfurt (Oder) at the Polish-German border is a German university established for research and studies in the matters of Central and Eastern Europe. It has established its very own central research institution, B/ORDERS IN MOTION, which combines and promotes analysis in the social and cultural sciences, business administration, economics, and law. Its scientific work focuses on the processes of demarcating, transcending, overcoming and re-establishing borders, boundaries, frontiers and limits.

Operating within this scientific institute, we have constituted a project under the name “Dissolution of boundaries – the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation as an instrument for territorial cooperation of local authorities in Europe”. We conduct interdisciplinary research on EGTC, a specific instrument of cross-border, transnational and interregional partnership of public entities.

The partners of the research project have set the task to present the synergies and interdependencies of legal, political and economic aspects of intercommunal cooperation through the example of EGTC. A further question that will be addressed is the added value of the groupings for regional authorities and citizens in border regions—particularly in the German-Polish borderlands.

The emphasis of the legal research will be put on the legal nature of EGTC, their tasks and competences as well as the possibilities and constraints in regard to their establishment in the member states’ legal systems. Additionally, the concept of EGTC will be subject to a comparative study with reference to other forms of territorial cooperation in Europe. The implementation of EGTC can raise further questions of a political nature, as their formation can result in a limitation of competences of regional entities. Issues that arise include the institutional design and allocation of competences as well as their democratic control through the selection of staff. Other significant conclusions can be drawn from the answer to the question whether the establishment of EGTC can foster the erosion of EU member state orders or its subnational entities.

The project will be concluded with the creation of a handbook and the release of numerous online resources—including an online commentary of the EU regulation establishing EGTC—hoping to contribute to a better understanding of this notable instrument.

Legal form: Project within a central research institution of a public foundation university.