The ”founding fathers” envisaged the European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) as a tool to manage cross-border, transnational or interregional programmes and projects. The aim of this study is to examine the changes in the interpretation of the EGTC tool since then.
The first section is dedicated to the introduction of the political and jurisdictional context in which the instrument was created, giving an overview of the discourse defining this original interpretation.
The second section presents the various ways in which local and regional stakeholders, the users of the Regulation interpret the tool. It is clear that these views are not always consistent with the original intentions. Rather, EGTCs are perceived as multi-purpose organisations implementing a new approach to territoriality through integrated cross-border interventions. The decisive characteristics of the groupings are highlighted: namely their role in crossborder integration, their flexibility, adaptability and their potential in terms of representation of the border area.