The EGTC Chaves-Verín results from a partnership between Spain and Portugal. This EGTC has been created to act as a cross border conurbation around the cities of Chaves (PT) and Verín (ES).
The EGTC was set up after a long history of cooperation and a long procedure.
Cooperation is defined, by the two towns, as the matrix of development that moves, promotes and encourages competitiveness and integration into the global economy having, as key factor, the reduction of imbalances that assure sustainability. The constitution of the Chaves-Verín Eurocity is based on the promotion of scale economies, the use of the existing synergies, enabling the region to generate added value and to create conditions for its local absorption and, all this are possible by setting common policies and strategies to be adopted in common in the most diverse areas: culture, tourism, trade, education, R&D, social policies…
Make the Eurocity into a regional development tool allowing the implementation of actions and to improve the quality of life of its citizens
- Enforce social cohesion
- Promote human resources qualification
- Natural and cultural heritage reassessment
- Consolidate and develop the local entrepreneurial sector
- Develop tourism sector (specially thermal springs/spa)
- Integrate and promote the logistic sector
- Common infrastructures and sportive practices
- Culture promotion (common usage of infrastructures and equipments)
- Rural areas development (by promoting the local production
Review of activities in 2016
The added value of the EGTC lies in the implementation of cross-border actions, which would be difficult to implement separately, in creating economies of scale, avoiding duplication of efforts and resources and in the common management of European projects.
In recent years, the EGTC has been carrying out a number of actions and cross-border cooperation initiatives, within the scope of the operational programme for cross-border cooperation Spain-Portugal. Examples are a case study of cooperation structure of proximity (near the citizen) or a living laboratory to implement initiatives that would overcome the still-existing "barriers" between Portugal and Spain and demonstrate that territorial cohesion at the border level is possible. In this sense, the EGTC has developed several actions in the area of cross-border health, common conservation and management of cross-border protected areas, common equipment management, creation of cross-border tourist products, etc. On the other hand, the EGTC collaborates with other European cross-border urban agglomerations and networks to share experience and transfer knowledge in solving common problems of a cross-border nature.
In the remaining programming period the EGTC plans to:
- develop actions to increase citizen participation in the decision-making of the EGTC;
- develop actions for active aging;
- jointly organise cultural and sport events;
- increase the provision of ICT in common public services;
- create a cross-border public transport service;
- manage natural areas commonly;
- conserve the natural historical heritage;
- consolidate and promote the cross-border tourist destination "Chaves-Verín" and the network of tourist information points;
- promote connectivity and virtual tourism;
- consolidate the thermalism cluster;
- support the modernisation and internationalisation of SMEs in the Eurocity;
- implement a cross-border co-working entrepreneurship office and support the creation of start-ups;
- create a cross-border online marketing platform for agricultural and traditional products;
- create a cross-border brand of organic products and organise fairs jointly;
- implement a cross-border IP telecommunications network;
- implement a cross-border system for the collection of municipal solid waste;
- create a network of Atlantic area Eurocities.
The EGTC contributes to the European 2020 Strategy, especially:
- in improving the business sector of the tourism and thermal cluster, consolidating the tourist destination "Chaves-Verín", capable of competing globally;
- in modernising the cross-border labour market, through specialised training or in the support of cross-border labour mobility through the Citizens Information Service; and
- by improving the efficiency of public administration, by the common and innovative management of the municipal equipment’s of the two cross-border municipalities.
The objectives of the EGTC to contribute to the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy are under revision, directing them towards investment in growth and jobs: an intelligent, sustainable, competitive and inclusive Eurocity, for economic growth and job creation in its territory. As strategic axes towards an economic growth, social cohesion and sustainability, the following common joint strategic objectives are defined in the strategic plan of the EGTC:
- An Intelligent Eurocity
- Support to key sectors of the local economy in research, development and innovation (R & D & I)
- Investment in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
- A Sustainable Eurocity
- Promoting sustainable, intelligent and inclusive urban development
- Conservation of the cultural and natural heritage of the Eurocity
- Promoting transport and sustainable mobility in the Eurocity
- A Competitive Eurocity
- Improving the competitiveness of SMEs
- Promoting training and job mobility in the Eurocity
- An Inclusive Eurocity
- Improve access to public services
- Strengthening the institutional capacity of the Eurocity
The EGTC jointly manages several public services. Firstly, the EGTC offers a euro citizenship card, allowing residents of both cities access with the same conditions and fees to different municipal public facilities in the two cities (libraries, sports and cultural facilities, etc.). At the cultural level, the EGTC publishes a cultural agenda on a monthly basis. In terms of tourism, the tourism information points of the two municipalities work together, where several tourism products are created and promoted jointly. In terms of youth, the Eurocity has a rehearsal room and a youth information office. The Eurocity also has its own facilities, and as well as providing the services mentioned above, it has an information service for citizens on cross-border issues (labour mobility, etc.), in addition to providing this space for events, networking, cultural exhibitions, etc.
Challenges or issues
Given that the area of influence of the cities of Chaves and Verín extends beyond their territorial jurisdiction, it is necessary to involve supra-municipal administrations in the implementation of cross-border territorial cooperation projects, especially in the area of management of supra-municipal equipment, infrastructures, transport, civil protection, rural development, nature areas and tourism. At the same time, the slow transfer of powers by the municipalities hinders the proper development of the EGTC.
There is also a lack of human resources at the EGTC. Another obstacle is the need for a tax identification number for the other country, rather than only for the seat country. Also, there are obstacles in the national competencies in solving CBC issues and different public administrative levels are in charge of the same issue in each Member State.
Staff (in FTE)
No staff was indicated.