Fundamental political changes in Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans resulted in the largest transformation in Europe's borders in over 50 years.
The European Union has responded to these changes by creating a Stability Pact for the Balkans, which supports the states of South East Europe in their efforts to promote peace, democracy and economic stability for the benefit of the entire region.
Within the European Union, barriers alongside its internal and external borders have progressively been reduced and territorial cohesion has become one of its main objectives, aiming at economic and social development of all regions.
Changes in border regions must be managed cooperatively and democratically following the principle of partnership, subsidiarity, proportionality, and sustainability.
Experience shows that inter-regional and cross-border cooperation between local and regional authorities in Europe helps them to carry out their tasks more effectively, stimulating economic and social progress in border regions.
Euroregions have proven their value in fostering European integration and in successfully helping citizens to improve their daily quality of life. These cross-border cooperation structures have served to intensify local economic, social and cultural co-operation amongst peoples - in and outside the Union - by developing common activities in areas such as economic and regional development, job creation, strengthening of local and regional government functions, and improvement of communication.
Citizens profit directly from the tangible benefits of such cross-border cooperation initiatives. It leads to a better understanding of each other and to more efficiency in the organisation of society.