The French and the Belgian section of the Association of European Journalists (AEJ) in cooperation with the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and Eurometropole organised on 2 December a trip of French and Belgian journalists to explore the first example of a European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC).
This European legal instrument designed to facilitate and promote cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation forms the basis for the cross-border cooperation of the Eurometropole Kortrijk-Lille-Tournai. The programme was sponsored by INTERREG programme: a meeting with officials of the European Commission DG REGIO and the Committee of the Regions was scheduled. Besides striking examples such as the Euro-regional hospital in the French-Spanish border region of Cerdanya and Capcir, there seemed to be many more cross-border initiatives around the EU27 that were or will be founded on the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) provision. However, the Eurometropole Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai was the first of its kind. On the way back from Brussels the exploring journey continued into this Eurometropole Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai itself. The companionship there debated with the Eurometropole’s director, an alderman of Tournai, the Next festival officials and stage play director on the achievements so far at this cross-road in the Eurometropole and looked literally into cooperation in the field of theatre.
The European festival, Next, offered us to witness the stage play “You Dream” ’s world première performed by an international crew, called Superamas. This super-modern English-spoken piece is a drama of simultaneously performed universal scenes of nowadays daily life expressed in different theatre styles against the background of different moments in Europe’s history.
This first journalists meeting in a Euro-region was only a first glimpse of what European journalists will further explore of the real Europe in the regions.