The Nouvelle Aquitaine, Euskadi, Navarra Euroregion has been actively working to develop adequate responses to the new and different challenges posed in the cross-border area, since the start of the crisis situation caused by COVID-19.
Looking to contribute to the re-establishment of normality on our border, the AECT strengthens its commitment to continue to work in the three priority axes of its Strategic Plan 2014-2020, namely: Euroregional citizenship, economy of knowledge, and sustainable territory. This strengthening occurs not only through the launch of the 2020 call for projects, “Euroregional Citizenship”, but also through its contribution, as a key player, in cross-border cooperation.
Thus, the President of the Nouvelle Aquitaine, Euskadi, Navarra Euroregion, Lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullo, has sent a letter to the President of the Spanish Government and to the Prime Minister of the French Government, to request, on behalf of the 3 governments, the extension of the cross-border mobility of their inhabitants to several cases, including family, socioeconomic and health relations.
The objective is to increase the exceptions to the current prohibition of movements between both sides of the border, caused by Covid-19, as well as to permit mobility in the cases of:
- Cross-border projects financed by the Nouvelle Aquitaine, Euskadi, Navarra Euroregion (NAEN) or other entities of a similar nature.
- Residents in areas close to the border and whose daily activities are carried out indifferently on both sides. Family and socioeconomic cases, not related to leisure.
- Regular mobility due to health reasons: both medical and paramedical consultations.
In 2011, the governments of Euskadi and Aquitaine created the Euroregion in order to consolidate a sustainable and competitive territory, rich in relations. Later, the Navarra Government joined the project, and since then the three governments have been driving a growing collaboration between players from different areas (culture, enterprise, universities, sport, etc.). The crisis of Covid-19 and the restrictions imposed to cope with it, have had a direct impact on the cross-border relationship, taking it to a situation of minimums that should not be prolonged beyond the absolutely necessary. In fact, all cross-border projects promoted by the Euroregion have been severely affected in terms of their development, and many of them are being postponed due to the impossibility of moving freely within the Euroregional space.
In this sense, the Euroregion will launch an online survey over the coming days to measure the socioeconomic impact of the closure of our border.