The Euregio Meuse-Rhine (EMR) represents the essence of Europe in a region within a radius of 60km. It covers the territories in Belgium of the Province of Liège, East Belgium (the German speaking Community of Belgium) and the Province of Limburg; in the Netherlands the southern part of the Province of Limburg and in Germany the Region Aachen Zweckverband.
There are five partner regions within this structure of European cross-border cooperation. Three languages are spoken in the EMR: Dutch, German and French.There are close to 4 million residents in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine in an area of approximately 11,000km². There are about 250 000 companies, five universities, 19 graduate schools, 300 research institutes, 110,000 students, several harbours, airports and high-speed railway stations.
Every day, thousands of people make their way across the borders within the EMR for work, shopping or leisure.The EMR was created in 1976 as a working group and represents one of the oldest Euroregions of Europe. The EMR became a foundation before transforming into an EGTC (a European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation) at the beginning of April 2019. Complementary to the principle of free movement across a European Union with open borders, the principal mission of the EMR is to initiate and enhance cross-border cooperation between the institutions of its partner regions.
Residents of the Euregio Meuse-Rhine live the “European idea” as they benefit from all advantages by living, working and shopping in different countries. Instead of limiting residents’ access to facilities, the open borders create new opportunities for the regional population as well as institutions and services. This leads to new partnerships and the exchange of knowledge and best-practices.
The cross-border cooperation as it is conducted within the Euregio Meuse-Rhine therefore is to be embraced as a living laboratory where new synergies and innovative practices emerge as a result of the contact, exchange and cooperation between different cross-border stakeholders.