The MOT, in partnership with the UNCDF, organised a workshop on 14 October at the 2015 session of the OPEN DAYS in Brussels. This brought together over 250 people to address the topic "Cross-border co-operation and regional integration, a worldwide approach".
Jean Peyrony, the MOT's Director-General and chair of the workshop, introduced the discussions by presenting the MOT's experience in Europe, which for several years has benefited other continents, for example in French Guiana and West Africa through the "LOBI UNCDF" project.
Christel Alvergne, Deputy Director at UNCDF, presented the experience of the LOBI project in West Africa, which is an experiment in cross-border cooperation carried out using multi-level governance and the financing of practical projects, with the possibility of extending it to other parts of the world. For Christel Alvergne, "borders are places of important socio-economic exchanges that can contribute to local economic development and the preservation of peace".
Rony Soerakoesoemah, a consultant for UNCDF, presented an initiative aimed at improving cross-border trade and the creation of border region special economic zones launched by ASEAN. The ultimate objective is to draw up a regional policy for cross-border cooperation that could be based on the LOBI project.
German Granda Alva, a Senior Adviser to DG REGIO, set out the issues relating to cross-border cooperation in Central and South America. In his view, it is necessary to create a EU-Latin America platform for dialogue on cross-border questions.
Hélène Julien, for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, talked about France's support for decentralised cooperation actions, particularly in cross-border territories in the countries of the South within the framework of the ACTS project ("Appui à la Coopération Transfrontalière au Sahel"). "We are convinced that the cross-border dimension is an important topic for the coming years."
Ronald Hall, Principal Adviser at DG REGIO, explained the importance of the partnerships forged by DG REGIO with other countries in the world around the topic of regional integration, of which cross-border cooperation is a major aspect.