The Strasbourg-Ortenau Euro-District
What is the Euro-District?
The Strasbourg-Ortenau Euro-District is a European Association for Territorial Cooperation (EATC) and is an independent corporation in public law with an annual budget of 850,000 euros.
Who Belongs to It?
It consists of the French Urban Community of Strasbourg (UCS), the German Ortenau County and the five main county towns in the Ortenau County: Achern, Kehl, Lahr, Oberkirch and Offenburg.
In accordance with its objective of trying out new forms of cross-border cooperation as a model region in Europe, the Strasbourg-Ortenau Euro-District is also continuing to develop geographically and a territorial expansion is currently being carried out on the French side. The admission of three new local authority associations means a simultaneous increase in population.
The Objectives of the Euro-District Have
The aim of the Euro-District is to make everyday life easier for people on both sides of the Rhine. The border location is intended to be experienced as a distinct advantage, not as a barrier. As a result of close cooperation, new potential is opening up for the entire Strasbourg-Ortenau region and its population of over 860,000 people. The Euro-District wishes to contribute to the long-term linguistic, cultural, economic and social development of this region. This also includes reinforcing Strasbourg's European function as the seat of numerous European institutions.
The Euro-District is a European pilot region for various showcase projects and may be understood as a kind of "European laboratory" with model character in the area of cooperation in the cross-border regions of Europe.
The residents of the Euro-District are also to be actively involved in these processes by means of extensive civic participation.
The idea of the Strasbourg-Ortenau Euro-District was born in 2003 on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Elysee Treaty. In a joint declaration French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder proposed the creation of a Eurodistrict and in 2005 a Cooperation Agreement was signed between the Urban Community of Strasbourg, the Ortenau County and its five main county towns. The Agreement also referred to the White Paper which has provided the guidelines for cross-border development in our region since 2004.
Little by little, the Euro-District has continued to develop politically and the European Grouping for Territorial Cooperation, the "Strasbourg-Ortenau Euro-District" was founded in 2010. It gained its final form with a Foundation Agreement and Articles of Association
Tasks and Projects
The fact that the Strasbourg-Ortenau Euro-District is not removed from ordinary people can be seen in its numerous projects and events. Thus, the Euro-District is active in the following areas:
- education and bilingualism
- cross-border vocational training
- business and employment
- transport and the environment
- culture and sport
- security and crime-prevention
- supporting civic projects
In all these areas, exemplary projects have been started that directly benefit the people in our region. As recently as 2008, an agreement on dual cross-border vocational training came into force with which young people can improve their occupational prospects in Germany and France.
In the area of security and crime-prevention, Franco-German police bicycle patrols are on the beat and in the field of medicine, the new Franco-German medical substitution practice in Kehl is another innovative project.
Furthermore, the extensive survey of medical services in the Euro-District will simplify the creation of a pilot region for cross-border medical care as this suggests substantive opportunities for cooperation.
You will find further information in other projects in the Euro-District, cross-border sports and cultural events, including on the organisational structure of the European Association, at www.eurodistrict.eu.
We Want Your Ideas: My Euro-District
Do you have an idea for a cross-border project? If so, take part in our next Citizens' Convention or see the header "Mein Euro-District" on the Euro-District's homepage. The Euro-District will also be glad to help you by means of its civic project fund.