Parliament boosts cross-border cooperation

The Swiss parliament on Monday approved SFr 39 million ($26 million) to boost regional development across the Swiss border for the next seven years.

This content was published on September 20, 1999 - 17:36

The Swiss parliament on Monday approved SFr 39 million ($26 million) to boost regional development across the Swiss border for the next seven years.

The money represents Switzerland’s contribution to the European Union’s Interreg development programme, which was introduced in 1990 to accelerate the integration of EU border areas.

The programme has been so successful that it has been extended three times since its inception. Switzerland has been able to participate even though the country is not a member of the 15-nation European organisation.

“Those who live close to the border know that the Interreg development projects provide an important stimulus for the regions in question,” said Ernst Mühlemann during the House of Representatives debate on the EU’s Interreg III phase.

He said the previous Interreg initiatives had, for instance, led to very close cooperation between the local Swiss authorities in French-language canton Jura and the French authorities just across the border.

Other Interreg projects have included Swiss-German cooperation in the border area of Lake Constance and the Upper Rhine region.

Projects always address areas of mutual interest and regularly deal with the development of tourism, area management issues, transport networks, health and social services, technical assistance, education and culture.

From staff and wire reports.

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