The European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) as an EU legal tool

The draft regulation on EGTC was drafted in 2004. The Regulation itself was adopted in 2006 with the assistance of a Hungarian member of the European Parliament, István Pálfi who passed away in a tragically young age in 2006. Not only he actively participated in the preparation of the regulation but he also informed the Hungarian border municipalities on the coming act. By doing this, he actively contributed to the fact that today Hungary is the country hosting the highest number of EGTCs and that nearly one third of all registered groupings have Hungarian members. Therefore, the experiences of the application of this legal tool are valuable for the whole European Union.

The legal instrument created by the EC Regulation No 1082/2006 brought about radical novelty compared to every earlier form of cooperation in that the EGTC has a full legal capacity in each of its members’ countries – within the confines of their competencies. This mere fact has offered earlier unknown perspectives in terms of the realisation of integrated cross-border cooperation and development: EGTCs are allowed to hire staff, to establish institutions and public undertakings on either side of the border and to define the tariffs of the services thereof.

Hungary was among the first ones to adopt the domestic EGTC legislation and the Regulation amended in 2013. The EGTC program coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is an exemplary model in the EU which includes the professional and financial support of the groupings operating in Hungary. Mostly thanks to this support, since 2008, 24 Hungarian EGTCs have been implementing projects amounting to approximately EUR 100 million, employing more than 60 persons and involving 426 local and regional authorities as members.

15 years of EGTCs (collection of studies)

In 2020, within the framework of the Legal accessibility initiative, we wanted to provide a kind of summary of the 15-year old EU tool in a volume. The studies give a comprehensive picture on the EGTC tool and its application.

Ocskay, Gy (ed) (2020):
15 years of the EGTCs. Lessons learnt and future perspectives.
Central European Service for Cross-border Initiatives (CESCI), Budapest.
ISBN 978-615-81265-1-9.

We invited those professionals from all over Europe being experts of the topic who contributed to the volume with the following chapters:

The book was published in English, in 250 copies. Redaction was made by CESCI. The volume is also available online.