European perspective



  • Author

    Peter Ulrich

  • Year of publication


  • Language

    English (EN)



Territorial cooperation, supraregionalist institution-building and national boundaries: the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) at the eastern and western German borders


The article examines the interplay of territorial cooperation, national boundaries and supraregionalist institution-building with special focus on the EU legal instrument of the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC). After its introduction in 2006, the EGTC triggered a new push for a post-national Europe of the (crossborder) regions under a supranational roof.

As a supraregionalist institution it pledged to provide competences to territorial authorities underneath the nation-state for autonomous territorial governance. Yet, despite the fact that the EGTC relies on an EU regulation, the applicable law in practice is still very much based on national jurisdiction. Moreover, recent renationalization processes also contribute to further rebordering so that national boundaries could be felt in different aspects of territorial governance.

The research article, thence, investigates which specific boundaries that occur on national level between EU member states are ‘downscaled’/’downloaded’ towards the subnational (regional or local) level in the field of territorial governance. For this purpose, two EGTC projects with German participation will be scrutinized: the German–French EGTC Eurodistrict SaarMoselle and the German–Polish EGTC TransOderana. The analysis discloses the specific boundaries that either intentionally or unintentionally hinder crossborder governance processes and even impede successful EGTC foundation like in the case of the TransOderana.