On November 26th, 2020, Finland and Sweden officially approved the establishment of the Kvarken Council EGTC, a European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation aiming to develop cross-border cooperation and improve competitiveness in the region.
EU’s legal instrument for cross-border cooperation
A European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EFTC) is a European legal instrument designed to facilitate and promote cross-border transnational and interregional cooperation. An EGTC must consist of actors from at least two member states and is unique in the sense that it enables public authorities to team up and deliver joint services without signing an international agreement ratified by national parliaments. The EU regulation on EGTC was adopted in 2006 and until today have 70 EGTCs been established across Europe.
The largest EGTC in Europe
The Kvarken Council EGTC will become Europe’s largest EGTC from a geographical perspective and probably also by its number of members. The Kvarken council, which has been working with cross-border cooperation since 1972, will now change from an association to a legal entity. For the Kvarken Council and its members, this gives stronger tools for facilitating the realisation and management of cross-border development projects as well as strengthening the opportunities for interest-representation in Europe.
The founding members of the Kvarken Council EGTC in Sweden are Region Västerbotten, Umeå Municipality and Örnsköldsvik Municipality. The Finish members are Regional Council of Ostrobothnia, City of Vaasa, City of Jakobstad, Regional of South Ostrobothnia, City of Seinöjkoli, Regional Council of Central Ostrobotnia and City of Kokkola.