Project Details

Change on Borders

Change on Borders was a Regional Framework Operation (RFO), which was approved within the EU-programme INTERREG IIIC

Change on Borders

Project details

Duration 02/2007 - 10/2007


Coordinator Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany (DE)

Project goal

The Regional Framework Operation “Change on Borders“ was a programme-based approach that promoted interregional cooperation among 25 different border regions in the European Union and beyond. With “Change on Borders“ for the first time such a large number of regions committed themselves to working together in an RFO. “Change on Borders“ started in September 2003 and ended in October 2007. The total budget of the Regional Framework Operation amounted to 8.2 million EUR. It was co-financed under the Community Initiative Programme INTERREG IIIC “West Zone“ with EU-funding of 4.9 million EUR.


Several pilot projects brought new insights in different fields of cross-border cooperation. By the means of sub-projects, workshops, regular meetings, websites, thematic networks, site visits, expert exchange, reports, handbooks and studies, the further integration of cross-border cooperation structures was fostered and new knowledge gained and communicated into the regional administrative structures of the partner regions.

Despite the fact that every cross-border cooperation project has its own specific character, many theme- and topic-specific recommendations and also a number of general recommendations were drawn from the RFO “Change on Borders”, among others:

  • Cross-border regions are advised to collect information about the neighbouring region to be clear about the strengths and weaknesses of all partners involved. This helps to define areas of mutual interest to identify “Win-Win” situations.
  • Political commitment should be sought and a sufficient budget has to be secured in advance.
  • All partners are expected to set their own targets and an experienced project leadership should be put in place. The individual commitment from within the project but also externally (politicians) should be secured.

All partners stated jointly that cooperation just for the sake of receiving EU-funding will not achieve sustainable results as the cooperation would only happen for the duration of the funding period. The conclusions drawn from the RFO “Change on Borders” were developed with the view both at internal and external borders of the European Union. 

Role of Rupprecht Consult

Rupprecht Consult was contracted to develop a manual on cross-border cooperation, identifying barriers and drivers for successful trans-frontier cooperation, including cooperation with all 25 project partners. A comprehensive overview was prepared.

Contact details

Siegfried Rupprecht
+49 221 6060 55 11

Project partners

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