Full text: Interkommunale Zusammenarbeit im Saar-Lor-Lux-Raum

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11.4 Summary 
The Saar-Lor-Lux-region shows a large variety of transfrontier co-operation activities. The part¬ 
nership of several institutions including parliaments, governments, chambers and associations and the 
co-operation of regional authorities, have produced various spatial definitions of this „artificial“ area. 
This confusion about its demarcation and its size creates problems for the population concerned to ac¬ 
cept this regionalization as a necessary development and to identify themselves with the region. At the 
same time on a local level several sub-regions within Saar-Lor-Lux are established. Here local authori¬ 
ties try to improve, and increasingly to institutionalize, their border crossing contacts. 
The present work follows the question how much these cross border co-operations contribute to the 
european integration process compared with the authorities mentioned above. It is based on the model of 
city-networking, which is gaining increasing importance in the european development discussion. Its 
applicability to cross border matters is portrayed within three examples. With the Agglomération 
Transfrontalière du Pôle Européen de Développement Longwy-Rodange-Athus (PED), the Europä¬ 
isches Tal der Obermosel and the Saar-Rosselle-Raum three areas within Saar-Lor-Lux were chosen 
where local authorities already achieved a relatively strong institutionalization of their cross border co¬ 
operation. The co-operation within these areas started a very dynamic development process, which has 
been advanced considerably by the financial support of the community initiative INTERREG II and by 
amendments in national and international law. 
A descriptive analysis of the activities within these spaces forms the basis of a following examination 
of the advantages and impediments to the co-operation. The latter were established by a survey with 
local protagonists. This survey reveals totally different basic conditions for the cross border co¬ 
operation, which depends very much on the existing institutionalization. Another determining factor is 
also the professional support of political activities, as guaranteed for the PED by the Observatoire de 
l’Urbanisme in Longwy and for the Saar-Roselle region by the Kooperationsbüro at the Stadtverband 
Saarbrücken. They show structures, which promise a certain continuity of the co-operation in spite of 
possible changes of the politicians. This development also produces a thematic diversification of co¬ 
operation. ‘Tough’ subjects like urban development, environmental protection or the common operation 
of institutions increasingly become part of transfrontier co-operation of local authorities. In spite of 
structural, legal and administrative hindrance most of the involved authorities within zones close to the 
border, profit from a common language or cultural background. Additionally the transfrontier activities 
meet with general acceptance of the population, because the results influence their life in a positive way 
(e.g. improvement of cross border public transport). 
Form and content of local transfrontier co-operation very often show typical phenomena of city¬ 
networking: its voluntary nature, complementary partners as well as the creation of unconventional insti¬ 
tutions, which totally differ from national administration hierarchy, show their motivation to gain more 
importance on the regional, national and even international level by the use of synergy effects. In the 
present case this also contributes to overcome the EU internal borders which define those territories as 
the core areas of the european integration process.They are examples for a bottom-up development, 
which stabilizes the cohesion of Europe and improves the mutual understanding of the population within 
the border areas.
	        

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