The Greater Region is the largest cross-border region in Europe. It comprises five regions in four countries who are working together to organise the everyday flows of people, products, services and information among more than 11.6 million people. And at the heart of it is the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, which has just completed its presidency of the Greater Region Summit, which has lasted for two years. Time to take stock.
Citizens involved in the Greater Region project
Cooperation among the Grand Duchy, the Walloon region in Belgium, Lorraine in France, and the German Länder of the Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate is noticeable in the everyday lives of the Greater Region's citizens. Hence the need for Luxembourg's presidency of the Summit to address a number of key points, including mobility, environmental protection, security, and digitisation.
Mobility – a prime factor
Mobility is one of the most important factors, given the 240,000 employees who travel from one region to another on a daily basis. In the Grand Duchy, which receives nearly 188,000 cross-border workers every day and which therefore sees most of the journeys within the Greater Region, a mobility strategy called MoDu 2.0 was presented in 2018. The cross-border aspect is vital in this.
The MMUST project, developed at the level of the Greater Region in 2018, goes beyond a purely national view of mobility and offers a tool for making decisions and assessments with regard to mobility that enables decision-makers to organise cross-border mobility better.
Economy and environment – thinking in network(s)
Mobility also means economic stakes. The 'Autoregion' automobile meta-cluster was created under Luxembourg's presidency; it is a network of stakeholders in the field of the automobile industry and their sub-contractors. By 2030, the Autoregion should be a platform for skills in this sector allowing exchanges between businesses and research institutions.
A second cluster launched under Luxembourg's presidency is called 'Greater-GREEN'. This meta-cluster, aimed at stakeholders in the field of sustainable development and environmental protection, supports SMBs expanding their range of products and helps them move into new markets.
Several other projects were launched or made progress under Luxembourg's presidency, including one project for drawing up an inter-regional tourist marketing concept and greater cooperation in the field of civil protection and security, particularly through the coordinated prevention of the risks of high water, flooding, and drought, and securing the water supply.
A project at the heart of Europe
The Greater Region, located in the heart of Europe, is proof that the elimination of borders opens up possibilities for anyone prepared to look for them. Since the first agreement between France, Germany and the Grand Duchy on cooperation among the border regions, there have been many initiatives in every area of public life. Cross-border agreements and collaboration make everyday life easier for the people who live in the Greater Region. In 2007, the Grand Duchy and the Greater Region was European capital of culture.
(article written by the editorial team of the portal luxembourg.lu)