The 2020 Eurometropolis strategy: from a collective project to concrete realisations
In the long term, the Eurometropolis aims at an integrated territorial development, which requires several intermediate steps.
Indeed, in addition to mutual knowledge of the institutional actors or the actors of civil society, and of the different realisations, the mobilisation of collective intelligence remains essential, both in order to design the processes and realise joint projects in the field and in order to plan for the future.
The members of the ETCG Eurometropolis Lille-Kortijk-Tournai have decided to focus their joint efforts on the challenges that ensure that their cooperation (will) create additional value, both for the residents of the Eurometropolis and for the local actors: they have developed a strategy for the 2014-2020 period, not only based on their many years of cooperation (cf. « The 2020 Eurometropolis Strategy ») but also built on what already exists. This strategy is the result of the maturing process of the cross-border cooperation, the continuously evolving methods and the ambition to build Europe in the field.
A strong sign of a maturing cooperation: a collective strategy
The 2020 Eurometropolis Strategy defines the priorities which the members of the ETCG intend to commit to in the years to come. Its purpose is to be a guideline, a frame of reference for the partners and the actors of the Eurometropolis, enabling them to pursue a coherent and integrated cross-border policy during the entire European programme period.
The Eurometropolis abandons its current thematic approach and will be building bridges between the different sectors through three major axes and on the basis of 11 clear ambitions:
Axis I: A Eurometropolis of which the socio-economic potential is developed through 5 ambitions:
- 1. Take the clusters of the innovation platform to an international level (e.g. a joint cluster in the sector of creative industry, a cross-border innovation fund)
- 2. Create a genuine cross-border employment market (e.g. global visibility of job offers in the entire Eurometropolis, better alignment of education to the needs of the labour market)
- 3. Invest in human capital through cooperation in the field of education and research (e.g. structural integration of the cross-border dimension into schools and institutions, enhance technical skills and production capacities through education)
- 4. Develop cross-border/shared business parks
- 5. Make the region more attractive on the basis of the assets that set the 3 subregions apart (e.g. use culture and tourism to increase the economic attractiveness of the Eurometropolis)
Axis II: A Eurometropolis of which the internal mobility and international accessibility are reinforced by the realisation of the 3 ambitions below:
- 6. Develop a more integrated public transport system (e.g. better information to the general public on the available offer, electronic ticket system compatible with all public transport services of the Eurometropolis)
- 7. Create a soft mobility network (e.g.: complete the harmonisation of 3 cycling networks, create a coherent “cycling product” for tourism and leisure purposes at the level of the Eurometropolis)
- 8. Develop the blue network as a vector for accessibility (e.g. create a network between logistics platforms, promote a modal shift from transport by road to transport by water)
Axis III: The Eurometropolis will be “blue and green” when it will offer an exemplary living environment as a result of the collective implementation of the following 3 ambitions:
- 9. Support the targets for an energy-neutral Eurometropolis (e.g. signing of the Covenant of Mayors, joint renewable energy projects)
- 10. Transform the Eurometropolis into a continuous, harmonious and coherent region based on joint networks (e.g. reinforce the consultation platform for planning, redefine the city-countryside relationship)
- 11. Adopt a permanent forward-looking approach to the region
Culture: an added value for cross-border cooperation
The cultural, tourist, health care and education sectors play a significant role within the three central axes. Each of them is essential for the realisation of the ambitions discussed above. Therefore, the Eurometropolis Lille-Kortijk-Tournai confirms the fundamental importance of culture and artistic creation as major drivers of the attractiveness of the region and the well-being of its residents. Culture has a transversal value in that it inspires technological innovation projects, furthers the integration of people in need and adopts and promotes sustainable, environmentally friendly practices. It is an essential cornerstone of community life.
Keep citizens well informed for increased involvement in their region
The Eurometropolis will develop a portal site focussing on the aspect “services to residents or users of the Eurometropolis”. The purpose is to offer a unique platform for all kinds of information relating to the cross-border region: transport, administrative issues as well as questions relating to taxes, employment, culture, language, education, tourism, shopping,...
Prepare the future on a common basis
Sharing of knowledge of the region (database platform), the development of a common narrative encompassing the planned projects in a coherent manner and discussions at the level of the Eurometropolis: these are all elements that contribute to the progressive transformation of the region into a metropolis at European level.
Get organised to undertake concrete action
The ETCG will develop concrete projects on the basis of this strategy and in doing so, it will rely on the competencies of its members and its partners, as well as on their human and financial resources, which may be complemented with European funds. Three political Commissions (one for each of the 3 axes of the Strategy) and 11 “ambition” groups led by one or two members of the ETCG will be created with a view to joint action and production.