At the 9th annual meeting of the Conference of Regional and Local Authorities for the Eastern Partnership (CORLEAP), held on 12 September 2019 in Turku, Finland, Congress President Anders Knape stressed the importance of cross-border cooperation in reducing disparities between territories, promoting cohesion and contributing to long-term cross-border economic integration.
"The promotion of direct cooperation between local and regional authorities across borders has been a constant concern of the Congress for many years", he stressed, mentioning the Congress' work in this field, as well as the Madrid Convention, adopted by the Council of Europe, which provides for cross-border cooperation agreements between local and regional authorities from EU and non-EU member countries.
In a report on the prospects for effective cross-border cooperation in Europe, adopted in 2013, the Congress recommends, in particular, the development of legal provisions for horizontal subsidiarity. It also encourages the transfer of competences and resources to cross-border cooperation agencies, increased use of shared services across borders, and training and capacity building for relevant actors.
At the 37th session of the Congress, to be held in Strasbourg from 29 to 31 October, Congress members will examine a report on the fair distribution of taxes in cross-border areas and hold a debate on cross-border cultural development in the territories.
The President of the Congress also mentioned the Congress' cooperation activities in Ukraine and Armenia, aimed at "strengthening the capacities of local authorities and their associations, which would also enable them to pursue cooperation with their counterparts across borders".