The aim of the Council of Europe is to bring countries closer together based on shared principles and common heritage which transcend boundaries. To this end it has played a very important, pioneering role in the promotion of cross-border cooperation in Europe.
Through a combination of standard-setting and the sharing of best practice in intergovernmental forums, and as a result of experience gained through cooperation activities in the field, four conventions, several recommendations and rich selection of practical tools have been developed by the Council of Europe to facilitate cooperation between local authorities of neighbouring member states.
The Hungarian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe recognises the increasing importance of cross-border cooperation and has organised a Conference on Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) in Budapest as one of the key activities of its Chairmanship.
The COVID-19 pandemic and other current challenges such as the environmental emergency, and the backsliding of democracy, have served to highlight the importance of cross-border cooperation, especially in areas such as emergency response, health, labour market, transportation and institutional cooperation.
The CBC Conference, co-organised by the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Central European Service for Cross-border Initiatives, and the Centre of Expertise for Good Governance of the Council of Europe, will take place on 9-10 September 2021 in Budapest.
The aim of the Conference will be to promote the Council of Europe instruments in the area of cross-border cooperation, and to serve as a showcase for best CBC practice from Hungary, Ukraine, Serbia, and other countries from the region.
High-level officials from Council of Europe member states, other international organisations, regional and local authorities, and renowned experts will discuss the legal instruments, tools and practical solutions available to support CBC. The Conference will build on the outputs of a previous CBC Conference organised under the Croatian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers in 2018.