Strictly Eurodistrict

To modernize of any process, it is a must to update the concept database. The case of the German town Saarbrücken gives us the new definition of cross-border regulation between different countries.

By I.Miguel Durán de Barbozza

Not so many cities have a bigger purpose than taking care only for themselves. That is not the case of Saarbrücken, the capital city of the German Federal State Saarland, located 13 Km from the German/Franco border.

This Federal State is the principal connecting gate in that region between France and Germany, lending itself as a subject for the main studies on the analysis of the relations between those countries on different levels.

On a larger scale, there is the QuattroPole, which is conformed by the imaginary square made by linking the cities of Saarbrücken (Germany), Trier (Germany), Metz (France) and Luxemburg (Luxemburg)on the map.

The result of joining Luxemburgian, German and French forces

The main purpose of this coalition is to unite different cultures together by sharing common project duties between them, like management (Lux), social issues (Trier), economic improvement (Saarbrücken) and capacity and behaviour of the projects (Metz).

On a medium sized perspective: the Region du SarLorLux, formed by the French territory named Lorraine, the German Saar Region and Luxembourg. The basis of this first union between cities from different countries (since 1969) lies within the banking sector and the industrial market of coal and steel.

Of course, this first administration union was regulated by the previous version

Department from the SaarLorLux organization, fucosed on energie development for the region

of the actual European Union, the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), becoming the inspiring seed of this self-regulation between close regions from different countries that share common interests.

This market background guided this Region to lead in Europe a successful common-business region, developing common programs, like energy supplies to that region, regulated by themselves.

Jan-Philipp Exner impression on SaarLorLux

Some people describe this organization as a "Cooperator accelerator"

And finally, on a strictly atomic level, in May 2010, the political forces of both countries conformed what we know nowadays as the Eurodistrict of Sarmoselle, formed by the French and German cities between the rivers Saar and Moselle, which in Saarbrücken City Council press manager Thomas Blug words is “a cooperation between different French and German towns, with the purpose of being more efficient in creating common projects, such as building streets. It is a brand new European concept”.

Thomas Blug definition of Eurodistrict

The concreteness on the cross border policies has become crucial for this new SPD government in Saarbrücken, leaded by Charlotte Britz.

Many projects and institutions were born because of this special interaction between France and Germany, such as the Regional Verband of Saarbrücken (Regional Association), which regulates all the issues involving the German

Singboard of the Saarbrücken Regional Organization. Photo by Miguel Durán

cities of the Saarland to expose their regional development, social issues, construction permits or services for citizens, as a member of the Eurodistrict du Sarmoselle. (portfolio)

It is supported by other political structures like the European Group for Territorial Cooperation (EGTC), a public french structure that has its own statutes, assemblies or political committees.

These type of organizations in the French/German frontier are made to create European projects with European grants, locating new external partners from each sides or to demand subsidies in different sector, such as public transportation, cultural themes, tourism, infrastructures and the University education.

The communities pay 80 cents per inhabitant in order to do these common projects for the Eurodistrict, and with 600.000 inhabitants, that’s about 500.000 euro just from this side.

Through all these projects that are being developed at a lower scale, it is being indicated the level of interaction between the participants and future projections of the union, also creating the breeding ground of what tomorrow would be the first steps of political and social union of different countries.

To learn more about cross-border cooperation in this region, click HERE.

About I.Miguel Durán de Barbozza