Rhine accord renewed after 25 years

Swiss state secretary, Franz von Däniken (centre), flanked by the German and French ambassadors to Berne at the signing ceremony Keystone

The three signatory countries to the Rhine river accord - Switzerland, Germany and France - have renewed their commitment to work together a quarter of a century after the agreement was signed.

This content was published on September 21, 2000 - 19:35

Representatives of the three countries met in Basel on Thursday to sign the accord, which expands the powers of the tripartite commission governing the vital waterway.

The Swiss foreign ministry described joint operations in the region, where all three countries meet, as a "model of cross-border cooperation".

International law expert, Kurt Hoechner, told swissinfo that cooperation had blossomed to such an extent it was taken for granted.

"Three countries which haven't always had an easy relationship have managed to increase cooperation on the regional and local level. The region around Basel and the Rhine is a pioneer in this field."

He said the local rapid railway system between the three countries and environmental schemes were two examples of successful projects.

The accord was signed by the Swiss state secretary, Franz von Däniken, and the German and French ambassadors to Switzerland. Swiss cantons adjoining the Rhine, as well as the Germany state of Baden-Württemberg and the French region of Alsace were also signatories.

swissinfo with agencies

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